LTD. EDITION BLACK CASSETTE / 100
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The debut record from Keen Dreams takes both its title and structure of feeling from Daisy Hildyard’s 2017 book-length essay The Second Body. In it, the author posits a diffuse “second body” for each of us. While we wait, scroll, drive, and sleep our second bodies crawl the globe, render e-waste, dwell in shipping containers, warm themselves on refinery flare stacks in the atramental night of coastal Louisiana. Our second bodies move across sensing layers and through uncertain relationships. Pronouns in the songs are necessarily plural, as in “Pasted” where friends split ambiguous profits then wonder what's next, grasp past each other in the cinematic “Big Gulps,” and indwell public place in "Pinks & Reds." When they share a password beneath the sleepless gaze of "Pressing Eyes," the you becomes a desperate us.
The action centers on the band itself which began in New Orleans with the songs and guitars of James Weber Jr. A record-store true-believer, Weber took time away from the music shops in 2018 to pursue graduate studies in world history during the day and to tend his moonlit "ballads with a beat" at night. When he connected with Gulf Coast natives Shana Applewhite and Eric Martinez the two musicians' bass guitar and drums filled out his songs with a coarse-grained candor. The trio took the name of a cherished PC game, and Keen Dreams performed around the city. Bashed out live, the songs located affinities in the rushing sturm-und-jangle guitars of college rock, the 1980s AOR turn on FM radio, and dreamy shoegaze. But recording sessions at The Isokon studio in Woodstock, NY yielded a grip of lush rock tunes which producer Shannon Fields framed with detourned pianos and soundtrack synths, harmonica ghosts, saxophones, slurred trumpets and shrieks of bass clarinet. As such, the album drifts along an x/y of cathedral composure and howl; sentiment and squall. A first body grounded in the songs; a second body pushing through darker canyons.
Whatever’s Clever (NYC) and Strange Daisy Records (NOLA) will release the record together on May 14, 2021.