In last year’s autumnal season, British cult sweetheart Keaton Henson released a new solo record. Titled ‘Monument‘, it explored the raw, crushing grief felt from losing his father, and played absolutely to Henson’s strengths: delicate, meditative and peaceful. In a picturesque package of hushed acoustics it laid eyes upon the uncertainties and intricacies of these complex, painful feelings. Now, almost a year on, yet more material has surfaced that is said to have been written around the same period as his sixth album, and takes the form of “Fragments EP“. A single titled ‘No Love Lost‘ comes as the second release in the lead up to the EP, due for launch 27th August later this year.
Simple, serene and solitary, this single proves Henson‘s prowess as the prince of pretty poeticism and calm collectiveness. Throughout his career his music has taken many a form, sometimes adding or subtracting elements form the usual collection of comfy timbres, and this newest interpretation leaves him at the forefront of the music. Simple, unadulterated guitars delicately direct the track to its destination, clean and waltzy, warmly standing alone from a perch above Keaton, who’s vocal delivery remains as soft and fizzy as ever, refreshing as he is gentle as he drifts across the sonic dance-floor with questions and wonders around the loss of a lover.
“[It’s] a sideways look at being left behind, less a love song and more a “don’t worry I’ll be fine song”” , says Henson, “though I don’t know how much I believe him.”
Sorrow sits beneath the single, as it does with much of the rest of his discography, but also strength. The frankness of the music on the new EP lays Keaton‘s tender, mournful soul bare, but doesn’t leave him lessened because of it. Acting as a companion piece to 2020’s ‘Monument’, its narrative and subject matters are much more freeform than that of its sibling. Moving away from a focus on paternal loss and toward that of coming to terms with ageing and the grappling/understanding of self-love. There even comes promise of a feature from cross-continental collaborator Julien Baker, something sure to get the ears of many a sad softboi pricked up.
It’s clear that Henson still has no trouble marking himself as a mainstay in lyrical prowess, holding the hearts of many in the palms of his ever gentle hands. Mark you calendars for 27th August, and watch the visualiser to the new single below.