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Keeley - Floating Above Everything Else

  by Eoghan Lyng

published: 30 / 8 / 2023

Keeley - Floating Above Everything Else
Label: Dimple Disc
Format: CD


Remarkable debut album and concept record from Dublin singer-songwriter Keeley, which is about 18-year old German student Inga-Maria Hauser who was murdered in Ireland in 1988

Returning listeners to the soundscapes of the 1990s, Keeley's lyrics pack a heftier punch when you realise they are almost entirely written about Inga-Maria Hauser, who was murdered in Belfast in 1988. As concept albums go, ‘Floating Above Everything Else’ is certainly original, plummeting listeners headfirst into a country that has changed almost incomparably in the years since. The guitars whack, bristling with the energy of a brick layer putting down cement. The music is both romantic and pulsating, making for music that's both riveting and deeply enjoyable. 'The Glitter and The Glue' punches along with the ballast of the galloping drums, the guitars wet with the shadow of another Irish songwriter, Kevin Shields. Elevating and transformative, when it comes to the sonic approach to the record, which is produce with a dance-inspired beat, while the symphonic interlude 'Forever's Where You Are' suggests an update of the guttural roar earmarked by David Bowie and Brian Eno on Low. These glimpses into the songwriter's process suggests that Keeley would be wise to write a book or a play on Hauser in the future, especially considering her involvement in the BBC Northern Ireland Documentary, ‘Murder In The Badlands’. Complete with voluptuous yet ethereal melodies and arrangements, ‘Floating Above Everything Else’ builds a world based on geography and good hearted people; the commanding opening roar 'Seeing Everything' sets the album up where characters, creations and well wishes linger onto the world as it passes. Keeley has long expressed her admiration for The Smiths, and nods to the band can be heard on 'Never Here Always There' (the bass playing bears a pleasant resemblance to Andy Rourke's work, making it an unintentional tribute to the Smiths sideman in the wake of his death.) With its mysterious and hypnotic melody, and rapier-sharp interpolations, the song bears edges, yet never sacrifices the beauty of the melody in question. Featuring a barrelling drum pattern, the song explores the trials and tribulations faced by women all over the world. The geography is incidental, but the pain is universal. 'Totally Entranced', with its references to the power of love in the canon of the individual moment tips its hat back to Microdisney and Cathal Coughlan, offering the album's most commercial moment. And then there's the psychedelic 'To A London Sunrise', all stirring guitars and modulating vocal performances, conveying the excitement and jubilation of late adolescence. Dazzlingly produced, the track is given new life from the rousing vocal line. The album closes with the yearning of 'Shine A Light', suggesting that hope - whatever form it takes - might be on the horizon. An excellent album, the work sees the singer embracing the rigours of success, with a smattering of Irish and British shows on the horizon. The album commemorates Hauser, as was its mission statement. “To me it was a logical step to want to bring Inga and her story into my sonic field and start to write about her," Keeley admitted to ‘Write Wyatt UK.’ “It was all I was thinking about, so it was all I wanted to write about. To pool and fuse the fields of music and true crime together, something I believe has never been done before. No one has made an album about a murder victim, certainly never composed an entire body of work in honour of and about a murder victim and a murder case. But that’s what I’m determined to do, that’s what I’m doing, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

Track Listing:-
1 Seeing Everything
2 Arrive Alive
3 The Glitter and the Glue
4 Floating Above Everything Else
5 To A London Sunrise
6 Echo Everywhere
7 Forever's Where You Are
8 Never Here Always There
9 You Never Made It That Far
10 Totally Entranced
11 Shine A Light

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