Sometimes we could keep things a lot simpler. Want a one-line review of today’s recommendation? OK, meet the British version of Real Estate. There. We. Said. It. But that’s not our style is it? No. We prefer to divulge a few informative facts, a sprinkling of context, a dollop of adjectives and our own meandering commentary to compliment our recommendations. For those who care, read on, for those who don’t, well, you can race to the bottom and simply click play on them there Soundclouds. Either way, you’re going to enjoy this band.
Keebo deserve a full article, mainly because they’re pretty special, but also because they’re more than just a British Real Estate. They are of course as weightless and fragile as the American band, spinning silky, twee indie pop songs that delight at every turn, but there are also distinct differences. Firstly, they’re an all female group. Secondly, they’re not American, although they could easily be mistaken for Yanks, but they lack that hint of burnt blues, or hazy countryside that Real Estate infuse into their tunes, instead channelling the kind of sunny steel guitaring found in Africa.
The four girls are Amy on guitar and vocals, Angie on bass and vocals, Sophie on drums and vocals, with the lead voice coming from the dinky-sized guitarist, Rhapsody. We say dinky, in truth we’ve never seen a smaller front woman; we imagine they keep her in a pretty little box in-between shows. The fact they are all listed as providing vocals will give you the biggest clue to their sound. A multi-layered range of sweet harmonies is their special move and they sweep you off your feet with it on every song. Rhapsody leads well, with a purity that’s as clean as rain and it lands just as softly all over their music.
That’s not to state that the fuzz pop foursome don’t need some polish, although their slacked sound is a part of their charm. Apart from it being relatively early days for them, no doubt lacking any costly production, their songs sometimes feel a bit amateurish. They are still ambitiously complicated and switch gears excellently, packed with some incredible ideas and gorgeous flourishes, but take the ambling tune, Oh No (Everybody Knows) and you find that the cymbals over-crash, the vocals aren’t cleaned up and the timing is slightly asleep. However, tracks like Hold Me Down, or the likely lead single, Native American, are both perfectly packaged like an impressively wrapped gift and they hit vocal notes that would impress any of The Beach Boys, whom we assume must be an important influence on their work.
They confirmed to us that they remain unsigned and still “pretty underground“, even though Rhapsody and Amy formed the project some four years ago whilst studying at college in Camden. They mentioned that the five songs on their Soundcloud are fully recorded and awaiting a release, likely to make up all or part of an EP later this year. When you consider Real Estate, or Best Coast, or even Warpaint, then you can see that there’s definitely a big crowd that adore this kind of music. We can imagine them topping Drowned In Sound‘s end of year lists, or at least their editor’s, Sean Adams. We can conceive them storming SXSW, although this year’s event has come too early in their ascendancy, so perhaps we will try and secure them for our Great Escape festival showcase scheduled for May (more details are due to be announced in the coming weeks on this). If they obtain half of Real Estate’s recognition and acclaim then they’ll do well, but frankly this gorgeous foursome could stand on the strength of their own music, proving no need for useful comparisons, or indeed our music blog’s meandering commentary. (MB)
KEEBO – NATIVE AMERICAN
KEEBO – HOLD ME DOWN
KEEBO – THE WORLD IS WAITING