Keaton Henson to release ‘Lucky EP’ on July 23rd

Keaton Henson will release his ‘Lucky EP’ on July 23, via Oak Ten Records. This follows a wealth of critical acclaim for the Rough Trade Album of the Month, ‘Dear…’, and early playlists from Radio 1 and XFM. Having been made one of iTunes’ 12 Ones To Watch for 2012 alongside the likes of Lana Del Rey and Michael Kiwanuka, Keaton will announce further details of the physical format of the EP shortly.

The ‘Lucky EP’ will mark an official release for Keaton’s breakthrough moment, ‘You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are’: an unlikely heartbreak anthem, but one which has already accelerated Henson’s word-of-mouth success. Written and recorded alone and at home, the song (like Henson’s music as a whole) was never intended to be heard by anyone. Then Zane Lowe heard ‘You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are’ and threatened to play it twice in one show, sparking a frenzy of Twitter investigations into Keaton’s identity. Responses mixed between the obsessive – setting up Facebook and Tumblr sites, claiming to be him – and the concerned (sample tweet: “who was she Keaton Henson? WHO DID THIS TO YOU?”). At the centre of it all was an increasingly mystified Henson, whose private agony had, overnight, gone public.

Six months on, and Keaton has released his beautiful debut album, ‘Dear…’, together with a brace of singles; including ‘Small Hands’, whose quietly devastating video has amassed more than a quarter of a million views. Henson has now revisited ‘You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are’ together with a selection of new material: a cover of ‘Maps’ by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, ‘Mary Celeste’, and the stunning ‘To Your Health’. ‘You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are’ has also received a brooding and ethereal remix by Tired Arms (who are signed to Motive Sounds, the label which originally released the ‘Dear…’ album).

Despite this newfound attention, Keaton Henson is a truly unconventional artist, intent on battling his nerves on his own terms. He still declines to play live in the traditional sense, following a particularly bad case of stage fright when performing at Sadler’s Wells in 2010. Yet Keaton has quickly found increasingly imaginative ways of combating this. There was, for instance, ‘Gloaming’: a performance installation and exhibition of Henson’s illustrative work, which centred on Keaton playing one-on-one for fans, projected from a next door room into a dollshouse. He has also established ‘Forts’ – a series of streamed shows in unusual circumstances (the latest instalment saw Henson paint a billboard for the album at a secret London location). Slowly but surely, Keaton has taken to playing the occasional unannounced show. What he will do next is anyone’s guess.

Keaton’s is a slow-burning success story that belies the demands of the traditional recording artist, but there is an attention to detail here which arguably couldn’t have blossomed had he not had his heart broken and locked himself away. One thing seems clear: Keaton can’t stay in there for much longer.

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