This is a different Keaton Henson. 7 albums into his career, the musician, artist and composer returns today with the announcement of his new LP, House Party, out on 9th June via Play It Again Sam. House Party is Keaton as you’ve never heard him before; a conceptual and sonic departure. First single ‘Envy’, out today, is available to download and stream here. The official video is available to watch here.
Keaton is perhaps best known for his beautifully fragile and personal explorations of anxiety, separation, mental illness and loss across the 6 studio albums since his 2010 debut Dear… Despite critical acclaim and a fervent cult following, Keaton has always been shrouded by an air of mystery having largely avoided interviews and social media… until now.
On House Party Keaton has chosen to inhabit a parallel version of himself who from the outset, aggressively pursued fame and all its trappings. This narrator, who is embodied by the pink-suited Keaton of the Tristan Pigott-designed album artwork and imagery, also allows over the course of 12 stunning and pop-driven tracks, the real Keaton to explore his own story and motivation.
In his own words: “I wanted to make an upbeat confident pop record about depression and being a performer, written from the viewpoint of an artist who has hollowed himself out over a long career in the name of success, an alternate universe version of me, who is left empty and lonely from climbing to the top, but is still only able to express these feelings in the language of confident, performative pop songs.”
In the blissfully bleary ache of lead single ‘Envy’, it’s almost as if this character is falling apart in front of the real Keaton’s eyes, as he explains: “Everything these days is so performative and aspirational, and we all seem to live in envy of people and lives that aren’t ours and we’re convinced would solve all our problems and feelings of emptiness. It’s about getting to the place where you always wanted to be, and were convinced would make everything better, and realising it hasn’t worked, and the scary realisation that no amount of money or success or fame will.
I think the guy in the song has forsaken all his friendships and meaningful relationships to get to this place in his life or career, and now, realising it was never going to make him happy, is lamenting his loneliness and the wasted years, and trying to warn others away from the same way of thinking.”
The album was teased at the end of last year as Keaton launched his TikTok with a selection of pop covers, ranging from Taylor Swift to Boys II Men, that were eventually released as an EP, Keaton’s Party Playlist.
House Party is available on CD, LP & digital formats on the 9th June. Pre-order here.