Keane are an incredibly important band for me. In fact they're probably the most important band ever to touch my life.
For a long time, they were the only band I listened to. They were the only music I listened to, or at least, they dominated my playlist. I'm 18, and I bought their first album in 2004, after seeing it on the shelves a few times. The cover fascinated me, something about the simplicity. And bear in mind, I was about eight or nine years old. That's an unconventional age to start liking a band like Keane. But then, I'd been listening to Will Young before then, so I was used to that kind of music.
Before I bought the album, I got my brother to download Bedshaped. It was beautiful. It is one of my favourite songs of all time and on this blog post I named it as my fifth favourite song of all time. Looking back - it's probably higher. After Bedshaped, the album was mine. All sorts of fascinating things - such as the everlasting question of "why is this song called Untitled 1?". For years I wasn't sure if it was Untitled 1 or Untitled I.
Hopes and Fears is a beautiful album, if not the best album ever in music - and certainly the best debut album. For a long time, I haven't listened to Keane. After Strangeland, I sort of abandoned their music and went off and developed it in other ways. Keane had become "too happy" and I was looking for deeper and more depressing songs. So I found Hurts, Ellie Goulding, Tom Odell, Muse, Bastille, Villagers and more, all of whom I love (Hurts especially).
But then last week I went to Keane: Live From Berlin at the cinema. And it was amazing. More than that, I took my mum to see it, and she loved it. She's completely fallen in love with Keane's music, and that's helped me fall in love with them again too. It's not just that their music is beautiful, but it is, as I said, such an important part of my life.
There's an album for each of the stages of my life. There's Hopes and Fears for when I was young, and I've come back to it now and actually understood the lyrics. We might as well be strangers has gone from one of the more boring songs on the album to one of the most perfect, because I understand it. Songs like Bedshaped and Sunshine, although still completely unconnected to my life in terms of lyrics, are such incredible songs that it doesn't matter. Now it feels like, when I find a new band or singer, I have to connect to the words. But with Keane, that was, and is, never an issue.
Under the Iron Sea isn't the greatest collection of songs, but Atlantic is perfect. It's the perfect definition of a "deep" or arguably depressing song, and that's the kind of music I like. That all stems because of the depth in Keane's lyrics. Bad Dream and The Frog Prince are awesome - and Iron Sea has become a lot more interesting as a piece of music, especially since it was used on the trailer for the Keane: Live From Berlin broadcast.
Perfect Symmetry is incredible. At the time it was quite a shock to me that Keane songs could be so dark - but they're amazing. (I've used that word a lot, sorry.) Black Burning Heart, Perfect Symmetry, Better Than This are such powerful songs, delving into realms that Keane hadn't before.
Strangeland means a lot to me. It was released while I was in Year 11 and is probably the first Keane album I listened to on release that felt like it truly connected to my life. You Are Young was such an important song for me at the time of the release of the album (have a listen and see if you can guess why). Sovereign Light Cafe was a song I'd listened to before the release for ages, along with Disconnected, and to have them on the album (redone, I might add) was perfect. Disconnected is an awesome song - not because it's personal but just simply because it's awesome. Oh and the video is really cool. Watch How You Go and On The Road were used by me when I was given the task of creating my school Year 11 Leavers Video. I can't listen to them now - because they hold such an important memory for me. I've lent the album to Mum - she's gonna be in tears when she reaches those. Black Rain is excellent and since seeing it live last week, Sea Fog has become a whole lot more awesome.
The point is - Keane are amazing. They've touched so many people - and it's amazing that in school and mainly in Year 11, around the release of Strangeland and whenever anyone asked me my favourite band, no one had heard of them. "They're the ones that did Somewhere Only We Know" I would say - and then they'd remember. That song made them - but there's so much more to them.
I'm so glad I went to see their concert. I've got a whole new appreciation for their songs, I've introduced Mum to their songs, and I've come back to the band that's been with me my whole life.
So really, I want to recommend their music. All of it. Want dark stuff? Their first three albums. Want happy stuff? Their more recent music might be best. Want amazing songs? All of it.
Thank you, Keane.