A New Kind of Breakup Song: A Review of Keshi’s bandaids

Heartbreak. Loss. Breakups.

At some point in our lives, many of us have gone through periods of inexplicable grief and resentment. It’s not easy to overcome these moments and singer-songwriter keshi acknowledges that in his EP bandaids. In a musical genre like lo-fi hip hop where fusions of rain sound samples and piano chords are everywhere, the Houston-based artist has found a way to develop a distinct style that portrays emotional loss through powerful lyrics sung to a soothing rhythm.

With each new release, he refines and builds upon his sound and musical style. His last EP, skeletons, focused on the scars from his past and his struggles with self-acceptance. In bandaids, keshi picks up from the emotional distress skeletons poured out but doesn’t dwell on it. Rather, the five songs in the EP build on it as keshi embarks on a journey of self-healing and reconciliation.

 

Throughout the EP, keshi is able to experiment with different sounds to add to the musicality and meaning of the songs. As beat instrumentals weave in and out of the guitar instrumental in “blue," they create an upbeat and energetic vibe. This adds to the bittersweetness of the song as keshi looks back on the happy memories he had with friends in the past and laments on their loss of connection. Meanwhile, in “bandaids," keshi chooses to use raw and unfiltered vocals that help convey sincerity and concern as he sings about trying to understand a romantic breakup. Not only that, but he also displays his vocal ability from opening “less of you” with harmonizing vocals to balancing falsettos and mellow vocals in “alright."

Complimenting the well-composed instrumentals in each song, the lyrics of the songs deliver an honest reflection on life in a simple yet beautiful way. In “right here," keshi doesn’t hold back on portraying his feelings from romantic breakups. Rather than unleashing the bitterness and feelings of loss he felt after the end of these relationships, keshi offers an olive branch as he reaches out and offers a shoulder to cry on as he sings, “No, I do not want the past/But if you are ever in need/And God has you down on your knees/And you do not know who to be/Then go on and come home to me." The lyrics “Friends of flowers/Fragile silence/Stand beside you/Stop your crying” capture the feelings of confusion and sadness evoked from “bandaids." Meanwhile, in “blue," keshi is able to depict the distance we put between ourselves and others with the lyrics “Blue moon, in different phases/Blue moon, in different places." In a way, keshi redefines the breakup song genre as he gives a raw, emotionally complex rendition of the various emotions that emerge from such situations. 

In bandaids, keshi pushes the boundaries of lo-fi hip-hop to create a space to develop and strengthen a unique musical perspective on heartbreak and loss. Check out the EP below!  

  

 

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