Thursday, 22 January 2009
The latest single from Manchester based band Keith sees them expanding on their eclectic debut Red Thread with a more focused approach and sound. While “Up in the Clouds”, the first single from second album Vice and Virtue, sounded like Kasabian covering “Elevation” by U2 their new release sees them venturing into the area of upbeat, intelligent pop inhabited by acts such as Guillemots. Taking a scattershot approach to genre and a non-elitist approach to influence it posits them with other acts that propagate this ‘new’ pop. The tight locked-in groove of the drums and elasticity of the bassline recall early post-punk pioneers A Certain Ratio before the descending piano melody that provides the song with its leitmotif intervenes. Guitarist Mark Nicholls adds splashes of colour, effortlessly counterpointing the melody before adding jazzy chords to the mix.
Brayston’s caterwauling vocal pronunciations inhabit the same style as the so-called ‘Brit’ school by way of Morrissey, although disappointingly they are not region specific. Producer Dan Carey, who has previously remixed CSS, Hot Chip and Franz Ferdinand, layers the track in shimmering electronica which lends an ethereal and aspirational aspect that Brayston’s keening vocals mirror and build on.
The whole edifice is consummate and well crafted but ultimately lacking in punch to really render itself in your cranium. The escapism of the lyrical content is too staid in the images drawn to capture the listener. But across the three minutes of the track there is much to commend sonically. With a keen ear for texture the band and producer Carey have constructed an interesting artefact that will lend itself well to remixers.
This article was originally produced for http://www.clickmusic.com/. To read the music review of Lullaby by Keith on the site, please click on the article title.