Keaton Henson – Kindly Now
Folk | Alternative
Keaton Henson has one of the most beautiful souls in music, perhaps anywhere. Held back by crippling anxiety and seemingly plagued by inner demons that we can only begin to guess at, he creates some of the most beautiful folk music in the world. His music deftly delicate and deeply personal, his timeless lyrics so breathtaking you’ll want them written all across you body. He is one of the most intriguing and affecting figures in modern music. Recently Keaton has been involved in numerous projects far removed from his folk origins, including poetry, graphic novels, art installations, classical music and electronica, but Kindly Now sees him return to familiar territory.
I feel like his time away on other adventures has had a big impact for better or worse. The Bon Iver-esque opener ‘March’, a clear remnant of his electronic side project Behaving, feels rather out of place, as does the a capella ‘Holy Lover’. In other places however the splashes of classical influence add to the moving atmosphere and on tracks such as ‘Alright’ and ‘The Pugilist’ the lyrics are some of his best work. ‘How Could I Have Known’ features some exquisite piano and album highlight ‘Comfortable Love’ builds to a grand and passionate climax. Kindly Now doesn’t have the consistency to rival his underrated masterpiece Birthdays, but there’s no denying that some of it’s highlights rank amongst his best tracks and it features some of the most stunning songs of the year.