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Keaton Henson’s Monument – released in October 2020 – is a fragile, meditative, and emotional unravelling of grief in the aftermath of losing his father. For all its hushed acoustics, Monument cocooned its emotion in some beautifully tender melodies and acute observations. It’s a warm and relatable listen.

 

On his new ‘Fragments’ EP, whilst the lyrical themes and subjects may stray from Monument’s poignant subject matter, it feels suitably entwined in both sound and atmosphere. The eight tracks that form the EP orbit a sweeping kaleidoscope of sonic shapes, shades, and textures. Keaton’s voice offers lyrics in an almost frozen romanticism – it’s a voice that sounds rooted in turmoil but also of strength. A happy sadness. Bleakly beautiful.

 

While the EP is now available digitally, the vinyl is set for release on October 8th and is available to pre-order with an option to buy last year’s Monument LP and a limited-edition print.

Previous singles from the EP, ‘Before Growing Old’, ‘Limb’, and ‘No Love Lost’ are fine examples of Henson’s vocal prowess and its mournful tenderness. Thematically, it’s a record with no linear message, albeit touching on the processes of ageing and a grapple with, or understanding of, one’s own self-worth.

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Julien Baker shares a mic from across the ocean on ‘Marionette’. A songwriter of due reverence herself, Baker and Keaton share an affinity with the power of hushed words, fizzing melodies, and innate wisdom.

 

Both empathetic records of sorrow and strength, the ‘Fragments’ EP and Monument are two fine bodies of work by this singular, unique British artist.

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