Keepaway – Baby Style EP
Record Label: Lefse
Release Date: May 18, 2010
Brooklyn, New York is considered to be one of the biggest music hot spots to ever exist. Bringing you innovative indie rock bands, such as Yeasayer, Dirty Projectors, and Grizzly Bear, you can’t deny the talent that this city has to offer. However, the list simply doesn’t end there. The newest addition to the pool of talent is the indie-electronic trio, Keepaway.
With their debut EP, Baby Style, Keepaway has already caught the attention of many different webzines. After several listens of the EP, I can now understand the buzz that surrounds them. Opening song “Yellow Wings” is hands down one of the stand-out tracks on this EP, as it provides heavy experimentation with looping by Mike Burakoff, pounding drum beats from Frank Lyon, and consistent vocal harmonies from all three members. Lyrics, such as “I think I finally know what I want. I want to be two places at once,” provide a sense of humanity that can be relatable to many different individuals that are dealing with confusion or a desire for change.
The following tracks “Family Of The Sun” and “I Think About You All The Time” continue where the first one has left off and shows that the band has more surprises up their sleeves. The vocals play a more dominant role in these tracks, while the instrumentation slowly becomes more relaxing and atmospheric. What I really enjoy about these two tracks is that it is perfect for the current winter season, and makes for a great drive during the rainy nights in California.
However, once “5 Rings” comes into play, things start to become very repetitive and tiresome. The lyrics tend to repeat over and over again, and the song length, which clocks in at almost 6 minutes, does not help either. At this point within the EP, I was hoping that the music would begin to speed up again, but it sadly does not. Although this track can be quite enjoyable at times, it would’ve created a bigger impact if it was placed elsewhere on the track-listing.
The final track “Evil Lady” is a slight improvement compared to the former, but does not showcase the band’s full potential that is present in the beginning of the EP. A combination of reverb-produced vocals and an upbeat strumming guitar pattern from guitarist, Nick Nauman, introduces the song and continues to slowly build up even more throughout. It isn’t until the last minute and a half of the song until things start to get interesting. Hand-clapping beats and a sudden upbeat change in style bring out the more energetic side of the band, which ends Baby Style on a more effective note.
Although Keepaway’s debut release has its ups and downs, it’s still very impressive to hear this type of music created by a fairly new band. The experimentation and structure of their music is hard to imitate nowadays, and is something to be proud of. As long as the band keeps doing what they’re doing and improving their overall craft, I have faith that they will come back stronger with a new full length album that will continue to surprise everyone even more.