There are a lot of concept artists out there, but few bring the same blend of purpose, psychedelic rock, dream pop and classic rock as Keeley. Her concept and musicality are on full display on her EP Brave Warrior which brings inventive songwriting to fusion musicality. The purpose behind all her music is to give Inga Maria Hauser a voice.
After learning about the murder of Hauser in Northern Island in 1988, Keeley fell into a burning obsession with the case lead to everything she writes having a connection to it. While this EP threads this purpose into the music, the music shines with the multi-faceted style that saw her debut single top Newstalk FM’s airplay chart. Through the tracks of the EP, Keeley keeps the memory of Hauser alive while telling a story that is truly captivating.
The EP opens with ‘The Glitter and the Glue’ which is one of the fastest and most explosive tracks Keeley has released. The track wastes no time getting your foot tapping to the beat and filling your senses with a fuzzy neon tone. There is a perfect blend of psychedelic rock and hazy dream-pop in the melody. This combines with the vocals that mist through the soundscape. The lyrics have an interesting and unusual arrangement that adds to the overall vibe of the track. The movement between the vocals and melody draws you into the story of the track and the EP as a whole.
‘Last Words’ builds through the opening from a stripped-back sound to a wash of psychedelic surf tones. There is a reaching feeling to the vocals like they are expanding into the horizon and pulling you along for the ride. As you are pulled out to the horizon, the interplay of the melodic elements have you swaying to the rhythm. As with the opening track, the arrangement of the lyrics is interesting and captures your attention. There is a story woven into the lyrics that the vocals bring to a hazy life. There is an almost acid wash feeling to the music at times that has you spiralling down the rabbit hole of the track.
‘Never Here Always There’ brings a dreamier feeling to the EP as the vocals are a foggy layer resting on gentle beats. The electronic tones warble through the higher levels in a wonderful complement to the lower levels. There are a lot of layers to the melody that makes this track one of the most poignant on the EP. While the lyrics touch on the case of Hauser, they also offer a little insight into Keeley’s feelings about it. There is a really touching vibe to this track that is tinged with melancholy and a strange sense of longing. The softness of the music and vocals adds to the emotional hit of the track.
The EP ends on a darker note with ‘You Never Made It That Far’. The opening beats are slightly ominous in their darkness as they lead you to a juxtaposition of piano tones and rolling drums. Keeley’s vocals are haunting as she sends shivers cascading down your arms. There is a bone-deep sadness woven into her performance that speaks of the emotions she feels about the murder that is the focus of all her work. As the track progresses, the melody gets a foggy feeling like you are in the woods as the mists settle.
Keeley has you swaying to psychedelic tones while reaching into your chest to tug at your emotions with Brave Warrior. The EP brings a perfect blend of sound, vocals, emotion and true crime that makes you feel for Inga Maria Hauser, her family and Keeley. Each track touches on something different about the case but comes together as a whole to help you identify with the drive behind Keeley’s work.