Birthdays, Oak Ten ***
The music industry tends not to be a great place for introverts, but it has inadvertently attracted many recluses over the years. Singer-songwriter Keaton Henson would probably never leave his flat if he had the choice, and be content to send out his songs as dispatches about anxiety, heartbreak and isolation. For his second album, though, Henson ventured to California, where he worked with producer Joe Chiccarelli to gently embellish his angsty odes with some deft touches. The result is an album of powerful, magnetic songs, full of thunderous energy (Kronos) and ghostly shadows (Sweetheart, What Have You Done to Us). The voice and arrangements may still occasionally highlight Henson’s debt to Jeff – and Tim – Buckley, but he’s slowly beginning to paint his own distinctive picture.
Download: Kronos, Sweetheart, What Have You Done to Us