Keaton Henson’s ‘Dear’ is the most heartbreaking record I have heard since Bon Iver’s ‘For Emma Forever Ago’ was released back in 2008. The comparisons between the two records are obvious- they are both about the break out of a relationship, both were recorded in a homemade kind of way. And both are incredibly harrowing to listen to.
However where For Emma sounds like it was recorded to be released, and for people to hear, Dear sounds like it was written as a kind of therapy for Keaton, it is so intrusive into his thoughts and feelings I can’t imagine that when he wrote the songs he thought that anyone would ever hear them.
Still, I’m glad we did hear them, because this is one of the most beautiful debut’s of the year. This really is a concept record, and I urge you to listen to it as one, from start to finish. That’s when the true beauty of the album comes out. The songwriting shines through, his voice feeble throughout and the subtle changes in instrumentation and electronic sounds separate this album from anything you’ve ever heard before.
Best tracks: You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are, Sarah Minor, Charon