Keane are a British rock band formed around core members singer Tom Chaplin, multi-instrumentalist Tim Rice-Oxley, and drummer Richard Hughes. With origins in the late 90s when Coldplay were first exploding, Keane certainly contributed to the popularization of piano-driven rock, aiding in their standing out amongst the guitar-leaning music world. In fact, apparently Chris Martin had approached Rice-Oxley about joining Coldplay at one point. Alas, Keane was destined for their own legacy.
In my younger and more vulnerable years, I strived beyond anything to distinguish myself from the crowd. One of the ways I arbitrarily decided to do so was by selectively refuting a random assortment of some of the popular trends of the era. With a teen’s tenacity, I avidly abstained from Apple products, Facebook, ethanol-containing beverages… and also decided I’d boycott music played on the radio or TV shows in general. Naturally, this led to me missing out on a lot of cool shit. I remember covertly downloading songs like The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside”, Coldplay’s “Politik” and Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know”, listening to them in absolute secrecy, and then deleting the evidence, gazing around my surroundings like I’d just ordered a nudey magazine online. One day I realized the castle I’d built was forged of bigotry and ignorance, admitted (to myself) I was a fool and downloaded Keane’s killer 2004 debut “Hopes and Fears”, unabashedly basking it its glory. These days, Keane isn’t even remotely considered a “guilty” pleasure, given they’re just straight up awesome.
In their first and sophomore albums, “Hopes and Fears” and “Under The Iron Sea”, Keane crafted a gorgeous sound of stripped-down piano and synth anthems, marching bass lines, and absolutely iconic melodies and lyrical work by Chaplin. Like some irrefutable drug, even in my most bitter and stubborn age I simply could not keep myself from these songs, and this dichotomous strain of cognitive dissonance was perhaps one of the keys that helped me see the light. Some things are popular for good reason.
Favourite track: Everybody’s Changing (http://youtu.be/Ea7QxBHvJrM)… Ahh so many feelings.