Musical prompts 1: The Pugilist

A person who fights with the fists; a boxer, usually a professional.

I’ve fallen, deep into something I can’t quite call love, for it could lead to misunderstandings, romance as the top of mind in most heads, but love has many forms, and there is this one, that still makes my skin turn into tiny spikes and ties string lights around my insides, I can feel myself shinning for the entire world to see, and I still hear the echo of my babbling as an explanation for something I have very little understanding of myself.

Keaton Henson has gotten me under a spell, if I were to call someone a poem, it would be him.


I first got acquainted with Henson’s work by seeing a video of a very distinguished English actor performing as a monologue one of his songs, I looked for the original version, the song, I teared up, I bought the entire album it was a part of. But I was selfish, and it backfired. I wanted this discovery to be mine and mine only, this feeling I would not share. I thought about it for a week nonstop, showed it to no one and forgot completely of the subject after a while of not speaking of it, we humans are sociable creatures after all, like it or not.

But now, here I am, sharing it with you this time, I warn you, you might end up in the same dilemma as I.

You see, this happened around two years algo. I was very different back then, a lot of things happened during that time and present, I changed so much that I’d forgotten about any lost obsessions of my past self.

Three months ago I ran into him once again by looking at a collection of doodles he made as descriptions for every song in his come back album, turns out that (and not in a egocentric way at all) around the same period of time I’d forgotten about him, he went out of the radar as well, and I came back to him just as he’d released his new album only a couple of days back. And it killed me lit me up, parts of me. It reminded me of why I’d been bewitched by him, and I was surprised to find that I had that last album in my music library, the one he released before Kindly Now, three years before. I had forgotten the name, and I failed to recognize it as I read the article about this interesting arrangement of songs, until I heard his voice again.

It felt like kismet, like I was getting gifted with being surprised by his work, all over again. Rediscovering him, and the feeling was stronger than before. Even the name, I took it as a command “Here I am, this is for you, but this time don’t go hard and disappear, don’t let it be fiery fast burnt out madness, listen, but now, do it kindly” and so I did. And now I’m sharing it with you.

This isn’t a blog dedicated to music, I am not breaking down every song. But this is poetry and this is the best use of letters. And after all, a song is a lyrical poem, so instead of sharing the lyrics of every song, I’m going to tell you the tale of how I fell in love with his art all over again. The closest thing that I’ve ever felt that I can find comparable to a kiss with exploding fireworks, or a five minute staring contest with the most intriguing stranger sitting in the same empty park as you. keaton1

He’s been called a hermit, he gives very few shows, even fewer interviews,  it is well known that he suffers of anxiety and different forms of depression, he is unbelievably and upfront human, strange, for a person in the business. He is broken, and he is beautiful, and his music will help you realize that so are you, every stained and cracked bit of you, every mistake and every thing you hated yourself over for, you are an absolute piece of art, this is an ode to you.

During one of his rare interviews with The Guardian, he summed up what we all do, but fail to realize:

“The listeners aren’t really thinking about my heartache, or my long walks. Music is entirely subjective, and we don’t listen to an artist to feel sorry for them, we listen to feel sorry for ourselves”

He pours his soul into these songs, and allows you to drain any remains of his own feeling, so you can fit your own there. He becomes the narrator of your ache, and let me tell you, in this moment in time, I can’t think of someone else to sing to me about my own troubled essence than Keaton.

I gave this post the title of the song that first caught me, it is a plead for recognition, it is an act of humbling yourself, it is scar showing, and it is healing through pain, it is accepting the battle of the broken, it everything that I needed and it pulled strings in my brain that I had no clue someone else’s voice could have control of.

tumblr_o9fpoomyt01u5uw14o1_1280Now you see, why I fell like I’m in love with this stranger, he’s made me learn things about myself, to bring back parts that I had been ignoring, and if there is something I’ve been told over and over, is that you have to find someone that helps you find parts of your being that you had no clue of.

Take this as an invite.

I took it as a prompt.

And be kind, to yourself, the artist, and the entire world.


Listen to Kindly Now by Keaton Henson

All copyright of the material featured be due to the rightful owners.

By Sofía Ávila

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Lucarna says:

    Reblogged this on lucarna.


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