Keaton Henson: Birthdays – review

(Oak Ten Records)

The beard, tremulous falsetto and bedroom gestation of Keaton Henson are traits familiar from any number of backwaters folk-inspired songwriters. Less so his take on love. "Promise to never have been born," he croons barely a minute in, and picks at lovers, relationships and his own shortcomings with much the same lacerating honesty elsewhere. It brings this twentysomething west Londoner closer to authentically harrowing troubadours such as Josh T Pearson than the soft-focus angst of many of his peers. But these spare, bluesy arrangements don't always sustain the mood, occasionally drifting towards torpor, despite cathartic bursts of noise on Don't Swim and Kronos.


Ally Carnwath

The GuardianTramp

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