Artist to Watch: David Keenan

Irish artist, poet, and musician David Keenan is something truly special and sets himself apart from the realm of mainstream music that fascinates over the in sequential. His music is reminiscent of a time long gone and yet he intertwines truth and a heavily-weighted conscience about the memories that pervade yesterday. To sample his song, Altar Wine, he writes:

“There once was a man that loved me, He was older, He left this scar and a book about an angel who made her way back home to God, I still think about him sometimes, running my finger up its spine, May he fall into a well, he left me old before my time.” 

 

Keenan’s voice is distinct; he has the folksy story-telling abilities of Bob Dylan (i.e. The Times They Are A-Changin’) and a wordsmith, and even a lower register, that is very Fiona Apple-esque. Also, a side note: He bears a striking resemblance to that of a young Charlie Chaplin -- if that isn’t further evidence he belongs to another time. 

 

However, I want to make it clear that Keenan is very much his own artist and person. He is self-aware and un-imposing at the same time. You can tell that he is a seasoned artist that knows what kind of stories that he wants to tell -- oftentimes I think for his own sake. 

 

Pat Carty, an author from Hot Press Magazine, has said about Keenan’s music, “At odds with the music of the age, compressed as it is to an inch beyond its death, Keenan’s music beguiles you in, his lyrics akin to a half-remembered barroom wisdom, that, days later, suddenly makes epiphanic sense.” 

 

As I’ve mentioned, Keenan is also a poet, which is obvious when you take a listen to his songs. In his poem, The Wait, he writes of a woman with which he is in love in a time that I believe only exists in the past. 

Often, I wonder if Keenan worships the past too much, but if so, I can’t say I blame him. He is an old soul living in an extremely modern present, where it is commonplace that people have trouble standing still and taking in the simple pleasures that life has to offer. Whether that be inspecting every detail that makes up the face of the one you love or playing a tune on the street with a stranger. 

 

All this to say, David Keenan is worth a listen, or two, or three. He may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but he surely is mine. 

 

Keenan is currently touring with Hozier (another artist that I adore, along with his band) on his Wasteland, Baby! Tour. If you are ever in the UK, he will be there alongside Hozier throughout the end of this month and into October. In addition, Keenan just announced that his debut album, “A Beginner’s Guide to Bravery,” will be released on January 10th, 2020. If you want a taste of what to expect from his debut album, you can listen to his new release, “Tin Pan Alley,” down below. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kR7dXGFDgM

 

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