Sometimes, it's a good idea to be wary of musicians who fancy themselves as much "visual artists" as musicians because it seems likely that one area of their interest is going to suffer. That's not the case with Keaton Henson
. When he's not making hauntingly sad folk music, he's also producing art books full of bizarre and quite creepy pictures and has done design work for other musicians' albums. His new music video, "Small Hands," is the story of the circle of life with puppets. Cute puppet animals including adorable rabbits get eaten, shot, and hunted by various predators. It's a beautiful video, but it's melancholy is just as prominent.
Keaton Henson is a 23-year-old singer songwriter from the suburbs of London, but to pigeon-hole him as such hardly does him justice. Keaton is also an illustrator/visual artist (who has had his work exhibited all over the world) and a poet (who will be publishing his first book this Autumn). In short, he is a creative young man with a diverse and beautiful creative mind, that is able to manifest his vision in any number of outlets. His music is ripe with this sort of outside of the box creative thinking, and the fact that he has received so much attention while not even intending to release his music to the public is a great testament to its appeal.
Keaton originally recorded the songs that would become his debut album in his bedroom with the intention of giving them to his best friend as a gift. After some coaxing, he eventually posted a few songs online and after watching the responses to his music, decided he would release it as an album. With no manager, label or any sort of team to speak of, Keaton sold over 4000 copies of his debut and racked up over 55,000 views of a single video for "You Don't Know How Lucky You Are".
Keaton will be partnering with ATC and Motive Sounds to bring his follow-up Dear... scheduled for release in February of 2012.
But get this! This record was recorded in his apartment which is located directly under the flight path near Heathrow Airport. As a result Keaton was forced to work out the flight timetable and record the majority of the songs for Dear... in the three minutes or so between planes. Crazy, right? It probably taught him all kinds of time management skills!
However, on some tracks you can still hear a plane approach towards the end of the song, which is just cool and unique and unexpected. In addition, he recorded all percussion for the album utilizing just one cupboard in his apartment. For the various percussive sounds on the album, Keaton used his cupboard is different ways (i.e. - slamming it shut, hitting it, and creaking the door). Another interesting fact about the recording of Dear... is that all the whistling sounds that can be heard were made using wine glasses filled to different heights. Wow! This makes you want to check the record out, right? It should!
Everything about Keaton is a testament to his off-kilter personality and creative genius. This blend of eccentricity and talent is manifesting itself in a truly once-in-a-lifetime sort of artist. Below is some more links to check Keaton out as well as some more tidbits about the recording of his album that further prove the unique circumstances surrounding Keaton as well as his innovation in response to these situations