Keaton Henson today unveils his new single, “I’m Not There”, out now via Play It Again Sam. The opening track of Keaton’s forthcoming album House Party, due June 9, sets the tone for a record that stands apart from his seven acclaimed LPs to date; its mellifluous jangle pop melodies masking the feelings of disconnection and isolation at the album’s heart.
House Party is Keaton Henson as you’ve never heard him before; a conceptual and sonic departure that sees him 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.
Discussing “I’m Not There”, Keaton says: “I think I started writing this having (accidentally) caught sight of a video of me on stage, and just thinking that I didn’t recognize any of myself in it at all. The song itself though is about coming home from performing, or touring, or just being someone else publicly, and feeling like you need to just sit still and look for who you really are. It’s about the wind down, where you allow yourself to be human and flawed, and the fear that maybe one day you’ll come home or offstage, look for that real you, and not be able to find it.”
On House Party, Keaton says: “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.”
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.