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Keaton Henson - Monument

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Monument

Keaton Henson

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A songwriter/composer who has alternated between albums of intimate indie rock, piano-based chamber sketches (Romantic Works), experimental electronic music (Behaving), and instrumental orchestral works (Six Lethargies), Monument finds Keaton Henson back in singer/songwriter mode and with his father's worsening health weighing heavily on his mind. (Henson's father died two days before the album's completion following a long illness.) It's a vulnerable set steeped in longing and memory, with recurring audio from home-video recordings contributing to its memoir-like feel. The album opens with tracking distortion from one such childhood clip before the audio clarifies on a song called "Ambulance." After about ten seconds, gentle, broken guitar chords enter alongside what sounds like manipulated keyboard or string samples and Henson's fragile delivery of the lines, "I'll wait 'til there's nothing left of me/Oh no, how lonely I'll be." Bass drum, tambourine, and clarified keys eventually join the arrangement, which expands to include meandering bass and atmospheric guitar. Most of the tracks consist of similarly sparse yet textured arrangements, though songs like "While I Can" and "Husk" venture into more assertive indie rock territory. The hooky "While I Can" declares an intent to live in the present, while the relatively tuneful "Husk" diverges into romantic concerns. These tracks, while still emotionally heavy, offer respite to what would otherwise be a relentlessly whispery, aching set, as do the artfully deployed natural sounds. While Monument is decidedly Henson's, guests of note include Radiohead's Philip Selway on drums, composer Charlotte Harding on saxophone, and Leo Abrahams on guitar.
© Marcy Donelson /TiVo

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Monument

Keaton Henson

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1
Ambulance
00:04:32

Keaton Henson, Composer, MainArtist

2020 Play It Again Sam 2020 Play It Again Sam

2
Self Portrait
00:05:54

Keaton Henson, Composer, MainArtist

2020 Play It Again Sam 2020 Play It Again Sam

3
Ontario
00:04:29

Keaton Henson, Composer, MainArtist

2020 Play It Again Sam 2020 Play It Again Sam

4
Career Day
00:04:45

Keaton Henson, Composer, MainArtist

2020 Play It Again Sam 2020 Play It Again Sam

5
Prayer
00:05:57

Keaton Henson, Composer, MainArtist

2020 Play It Again Sam 2020 Play It Again Sam

6
While I Can
00:03:50

Keaton Henson, Composer, MainArtist

2020 Play It Again Sam 2020 Play It Again Sam

7
Bed
00:05:36

Keaton Henson, Composer, MainArtist

2020 Play It Again Sam 2020 Play It Again Sam

8
The Grand Old Reason
00:04:33

Keaton Henson, Composer, MainArtist

2020 Play It Again Sam 2020 Play It Again Sam

9
Husk
00:04:04

Keaton Henson, Composer, MainArtist

2020 Play It Again Sam 2020 Play It Again Sam

10
Thesis
00:04:15

Keaton Henson, Composer, MainArtist

2020 Play It Again Sam 2020 Play It Again Sam

11
Bygones
00:06:42

Keaton Henson, Composer, MainArtist

2020 Play It Again Sam 2020 Play It Again Sam

Album Description

A songwriter/composer who has alternated between albums of intimate indie rock, piano-based chamber sketches (Romantic Works), experimental electronic music (Behaving), and instrumental orchestral works (Six Lethargies), Monument finds Keaton Henson back in singer/songwriter mode and with his father's worsening health weighing heavily on his mind. (Henson's father died two days before the album's completion following a long illness.) It's a vulnerable set steeped in longing and memory, with recurring audio from home-video recordings contributing to its memoir-like feel. The album opens with tracking distortion from one such childhood clip before the audio clarifies on a song called "Ambulance." After about ten seconds, gentle, broken guitar chords enter alongside what sounds like manipulated keyboard or string samples and Henson's fragile delivery of the lines, "I'll wait 'til there's nothing left of me/Oh no, how lonely I'll be." Bass drum, tambourine, and clarified keys eventually join the arrangement, which expands to include meandering bass and atmospheric guitar. Most of the tracks consist of similarly sparse yet textured arrangements, though songs like "While I Can" and "Husk" venture into more assertive indie rock territory. The hooky "While I Can" declares an intent to live in the present, while the relatively tuneful "Husk" diverges into romantic concerns. These tracks, while still emotionally heavy, offer respite to what would otherwise be a relentlessly whispery, aching set, as do the artfully deployed natural sounds. While Monument is decidedly Henson's, guests of note include Radiohead's Philip Selway on drums, composer Charlotte Harding on saxophone, and Leo Abrahams on guitar.
© Marcy Donelson /TiVo

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