Keepaway, Baby Style
Swirling, post-Merriweather Post Pavilion psych pop
We are living in a post-Merriweather Post Pavilion world. That much is clear on the swirling, hugely ambitious debut EP from Brooklyn psych poppers Keepaway. The boundaries of what is permissible in indie rock songwriting were never set, but there is neither a Pavement-style slackness, nor Grizzly Bear's cool rigidity in Keepaway's songs. Instead, they float, with melodies creeping in but never settling in place and tribal rhythms relentlessly clomping and galloping in equal measure. Keepaway's members — Frank Lyon, Nick Nauman and Mike Burakoff — are not unlike AnCo in many ways, not least of which is their high-pitched, harmonic singing style that will be both a burden and a reward for the band.
But unlike that easy point of reference, Keepaway are still futzing with meaning; on the synth-driven "I Think About You All The Time," the hazy imagery ("Imagine in a warm labyrinth, a pair of brown shoes, in violet…") is pervasive and diffuse. The five songs here are often such gorgeous compositions that navigating intent and feeling is almost impossible — which isn't a bad thing, necessarily. It just makes listening less like a lyric puzzle and more like Magic Eye painting. Listen long enough and you'll hear something important.