Ever since his debut album, Dear, appeared on shelves in April of last year (original release: 2010), Keaton Henson is a name that has been shrouded somewhat by mystery. However, unlike many who use this form of uncertainty as a powerful PR magnet, the enigma that is Keaton Henson has formed because of crippling social anxieties that mean live shows and interviews are few and far between. With that said, the music from this 24-year-old Londoner is far from private and with his latest offering, Birthdays, Henson once again exquisitely lays bare his forsaken soul for all to admire.

Like his previous offering, Henson uses the desolate coupling of guitar and his trembling voice to present a window into his equally lonesome conscious, no more so than in the chilling opener 'Teach Me': "How am I expected to behave / When I’m alone with myself everyday." Similarly, lead single 'Lying to You' offers an uncomfortable aperture into the inner torments of his mind, so sincere and honest that one feels a slight sense of invasion, yet it's this same honesty that is utterly encapsulating as a listener.

Musically, not much as changed since Dear, but then again, why would one want it to? The delicately barren soundscapes Henson manages to mould in tracks like '10 am Gare du Nord' are as equally fulfilling as any of their more abundant counterparts and in this sense, make the former somewhat more accessible. This also means that the abridged glimpses of a more textured nature, like in the climax of the downright bitter 'Sweetheart, What Have You Done To Us', are all the more poignant.

Within the largely self-damning 10-track offering, there are brief moments where the tone changes. 'The Best Today' depicts a touching tale of a fleeting daydream romance whilst aboard a train in which Henson flawlessly captures the moment using his almost childlike storytelling abilities: "I wish I could wake at dawn / see you without make-up on." It would be foolish to call the track upbeat but similarly to 'Not That You'd Even Notice' from Dear, it offers a welcome relief from what is otherwise a musical journey of diffident intensity.

On the whole, with his latest offering, Henson continues to do what he does best with his quivering vocals acting as the perfect narration, as he allows the listener to journey deep into darkest corners of his troubled mind.