It seems the easy thing to do these days, to pick up a guitar and play a few notes, belt a few chords out and shout a couple of words but to actually affect someone, that’s the hard task. I hadn’t heard Keaton Henson before I listened to The Lucky EP and I reacted in a manner that I rarely do, posting Henson’s videos to all my Facebook friends and then going out to my local HMV to buy the full length album.
The Lucky EP isn’t rocket science. One man and his guitar, but it’s how its approached that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. From the haunting first strums on opener ‘You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are‘ and the fragile vocals of Henson that at times sounds as if they are breaking before your very ears, you wonder if it physically destroyed Henson to play these songs. Follow up track ‘To Your Health‘ is phenomenal in equal measure with its disparate plucked guitar melody as Henson emotionally tells a forlorn love story; “Make mine a pain in the neck, here’s to you, you old wreck, mine is a thorn in the side, drink up so we can both finally die” and it only gets better from there with a downbeat cover of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s track ‘Maps’.
At times this four track EP can feel like a car wreck of emotional instability recorded for your, well, strange enjoyment. I mean that in a good way because while you feel some sense of guilt benefitting from someone’s excruciating pain this EP is nothing short of encapsulating. Keaton Henson just made it on my records of the year list.