Reviews

Keaton Henson
Kindly Now

(PIAS)

7/10

Hit ‘intrude’ on KeatonHenson.com and you’ll come across a digital rendering of a tattered writing pad that’s all stained paper, rough edges and hand-drawn pencil. Turn the first page and you’ll read: “I hope you listen as though it were all for you. I hope she knows it was.” It’s the perfect intro, and a line that stands as both an invitation and warning of Henson’s admittedly self-protected world, where the slow creep of desolation hangs heavy. It’s a familiar cross to bear for any singer-songwriter, and a fine line between artistic introspection and woe-is-me indulgence, but Henson sighs his way through it with trembling reluctance.

Plumbing the same maudlin depths as previous efforts, ‘Kindly Now’ is a similarly sad, slow show. Opener ‘March’ is a string-laden hug goodbye; ‘The Pugilist’ transports us back to the time Damien Rice briefly ruled the world; ‘Comfortable Love’ builds up a weighty head of steam for the day Henson plucks up the courage to hopefully play out a Greenman sunset.

Elsewhere, ‘Old Lovers in Dressing Rooms’ is exactly as it sounds; a heart-string-tugging short story of awkward conversations whereas his voice hits tremulous lows as he almost whispers, with a bullet, “It is love but I fear it won’t do” on ‘Good Lust’. Bleak but beautiful, ‘Kindly Now’ is the soundtrack you want if you’re happy being sad.

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.

If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.