Engelske Keane er ute med sitt fjerde studioalbum, Strangeland. I samarbeid med produsent Dan Grech-Marguerat (Radiohead, Lana Del Rey, The Vaccines) har Keane denne gang arbeidet fram et varmere og på sett og vis enklere lydbilde enn det som preget forgjengeren Perfect Symmetry (2008), med større fokus på selve låtskrivingen enn på produksjonen.
Strangeland ble innspilt i studioet til låtskriver og pianist Tim Rice-Oxley, og han har tatt seg tid til en kort prat med WiMP i forbindelse om det nye albumet. Rice-Oxley beskriver Strangeland som et reflekterende album rundt det å bli voksen.
- I think the overall picture is the idea that you embark on a journey chasing your dream through life. Each song on the album is a way of looking at where we’ve gotten to as people, the good and bad things that have happened along the way, and how we’ve responded to them. Even though the songs are different – ”Sovereign Light Café” is a song about where we’ve come from and ”Black Rain” is a song about war – somehow all these songs tie together into a cohesive journey of life.
- I feel the overriding tone is just trying to survive, being resilient and clinging on to hope and dignity in life. That’s the mood of it. Trying to get through the night and into the daylight.
So where are you now?
- It varies. Personally I find it quite a difficult time. In your mid-thirties you definitely start seeing your life as a whole rather than something that is about to get going. I’m not 18 anymore. I’m pretty far along the road now. Where have I gotten? Am I happy? What do I really want? All of those questions.
- I feel you really start to realize all of the clichés of human existence. When you’re younger you think you’re not going to fall into the same traps as everyone else. But all the things that happen to other people also happen to you. Realising that you’re completely and utterly human and mortal – flawed really – is quite hard to face up to. That’s a big part of the album. Trying not to be overwhelmed by all that.
What prompted this retrospection?
- Well, I feel that even just in the context of our band you think: God, we’re on our fourth album! We’ve spent the last eight years thinking we’re just getting started and someday maybe we’ll make a good album. Suddenly you find all the bands we started out with are starting to disappear, and yeah, so you’re forced think about what it actually is you want to achieve with your music.
- The same is true in life. I’m 35 and you start to think about time moving by. The insanely fast passing of time is just a part of the human condition. It forces you to think about what you’re actually doing with your time. I’ve got two kids and that makes me think about the circle of life. As Elton John would say (”Circle of Life” er en låt av Elton John, journ.anm.).
Is it a sense of loss?
- Yeah. I think so. People don’t really like to say that. I definitely miss the simplicity of being younger. But at the same time there are always lots of great things in life, people in our part of the world are very lucky, and it’s all about clinging to the positives rather than being dragged down by fear and anxiety.
- A lot of the songs on Strangeland are about that. Trying to keep your head above water and cling on to hope even when you’re riding the wave of good things and bad things along the journey.