Half-Irish, Half-Jordanian, London based singer-songwriter, Keeva released her brand new EP, ‘four sad songs and a ballad’ on 26th October. Produced by Ireland’s Tommy McLaughlin, the five-track EP encapsulates everything that Keeva is; a raw, poignant and truthful raconteur, perhaps stepping back to her roots allowing this wildly personal element to be brought to life in her newest piece of work.
The EP starts with ‘pieces’. Sonically, the track is understated, set with simple piano and strummed guitar. The track’s beautiful production is further complemented by hauntingly exposed vocals. Keeva takes centre stage as a raconteur, positing great truth about the bitter end to her relationship, creating a great air of intimacy, especially with the lyrics ’You crossed a sea to leave and never said goodbye’. Her real life storytelling strikes you in a way you wouldn’t expect in a song so obviously about someone you don’t know, but strikes your very being with the rawness it’s presented with.
Less exposed than the first track is the second, ‘the kindest thing’. With a slightly more upbeat guitar, the vocals are delivered beautifully once again. Following the same line as in ‘pieces’, storytelling is central to the track.. In this considerably longer song, betrayal is explored in the lyrics ‘So why did I find you with another who looked just like me’. These lyrics hit hard and once again create a haunting chill around the voyage into adultery this time, the track seeming so personal yet so inclusive. This is further exacerbated by the lines ‘The kindest thing you ever did was leave/ now that you’re gone I can finally see that this has everything and nothing to do with me’, self reflection and its importance being reflected upon in her realisation.
Perhaps the ballad alongside the four sad songs is ‘how do I tell you’. While still rife with emotion, this track is less negatively centred. Skillful repetition of the wariness to admit her true feelings, in ‘How do i tell you you’re the reason why even on dark days I’ve got some light/ How do I just let you know no one else compares to you’ and so on really pull you in as if you’re experiencing the same feelings of hesitance in love. However, unlike the EP’s other tracks, production wise, ‘How Do I Tell You’ is much less understated, with the inclusion of beautiful guitar and drums, building up to a halt and the bare vocal in ‘Cause you are the reason my twenties changed’.
Next is ‘desired plan’. The opening of the track is delivered acapella, really highlighting Keeva’s silky smooth, perhaps bluesy vocal. Cleverly however, as the line ‘If you listen closely you can hear…’ comes to fruition, the electric guitar kicks in, satisfying the track both with coherence sonicially and lyrically. Lyrically, the track compliments the loneliness felt after the end of a relationship with, ‘I know you get lonely like me/ is it such a sin if some nights we meet’ which then grows with ‘Don’t call me darling if you’re planning on walking /This is not my desired plan’.
Closing the EP is ‘if I hadn’t met you at all’. Again, less sonically understated yet still charged with emotion, this track seems to be the closing punch to Keeva’s ex, highlighting his misdoings in their relationships. Starting with, ‘You said you’d be here by nine’ and growing into ‘I remember you staring through me saying three words that I believed’, an air of retrospective disappointment and understanding focused on, something which often takes time to get to. The track then almost becomes gospel, with the poignant and empowering line, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t have let you let me down cause I know exactly where I stand’, the prefect lyric for the perfect ending to a pretty perfect set of tracks.
All in all, although the EP’s title is ‘four sad songs and a ballad’ almost seems fitting on the surface, the EP offers much more than that. The EP operates as almost a segway into Keeva’s heart. The tracks offer a brutally honest perspective on her life, experiences and emotions, something I feel privileged to have access to.
Author: Robyn Hartley – @rxbynhartley
To listen to the EP click the link below.