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First Watch: Keaton Henson, 'Alright'

It's no secret English singer Keaton Henson is a bit of a wallflower. When he performed at the Tiny Desk back in 2013, his voice was so quiet, people standing only a few feet away had trouble hearing him. It's an endearing part of his personality, which he spoofs in a new video for his breathtaking song "Alright."

The video opens in a nondescript karaoke bar with a very twitchy Keaton Henson on stage, quivering his way through his own song. Gradually, it becomes clear that Henson is physically wounded and bleeding heavily. It's a macabre, but arresting portrayal of the singer's audience-inducing neurosis.

"'Alright' is a song of false hope and half-hearted placation," Henson tells NPR Music in an email. "I suppose it's very 'English' in that way. The video is a visual metaphor for my feelings in the spotlight. Perhaps more specifically, it is a representation of how I feel on stage. Hopefully, it serves as a small apologetic explanation for my lack of appearing publicly."

The video is directed by filmmaker William Williamson. "Alright" is from Keaton Henson's upcoming full-length, Kindly Now, due out Sept. 16 on Play It Again Sam Recordings.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.