by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
Pat Keen has been a bit of an experimental punk journeyman over the past few years as both a recent addition to Chicago's Wei Zhongle and a former touring member of both Guerilla Toss and Ryan Power's live band. Like a beacon of avant-expression, Keen's solo work shines in a different light, opting for a calming air of psych folk and dimly lit "homemade" pop. Albatross is Keen's sophomore release (and his first for Ramp Local), a dreamy blend of detached acoustics and folk experimentation. It's a warm and comforting record, honest in composition but expansive in its sustained thoughts.
Soft and sprightly, "Wannabes" opens with a jazzy shuffle like the sun rising on a new day. The rhythm bounces around under Keen's melodic phrasing, shifting in tempo as the vocal couplets subside into quick stream of conscious thought. The jazzy "pop" of the song's brushed rhythm traverses into an arpeggiated guitar anti-hook as Keen sings "going far, coming so close, scaring the mouse out" amid a gently rising disorientation, and right back into the vibrant shuffle of the verse. The rhythm pulls out altogether in favor of a breezy vocal harmony together with Addie Strei, returning for the free-form crescendo, drifting beautifully toward the abstract. It's the little intricacies that make all the difference.
Pat Keen's Albatross is out June 2nd via Ramp Local.
06/01 - Minneapolis, MN @ Tatterwood Gallery
06/02 - Madison, WI @ Arts & Literature Laboratory
06/03 - Chicago, IL @ Cafe Mustache w/ Lag & The Hecks
06/04 - Athens, OH @ Smiling Skull
06/05 - Pittsburgh, PA
06/06 - Buffalo, NY
06/07 - Westfield, MA @ Show and Tell at Allen Tree Farm
06/08 - Providence, RI @ AS220 Main Room w/ AD.UL.T, Watermelon & Dog Hospice
06/09 - Philadelphia, PA @ R&D Vinyl (early show)
06/09 - Philadelphia, PA @ Everybody Hits w/ Buck Gooter, Snakehole & Old Maybe (late show)
06/10 - Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool (Wharf Cat Records/Ramp Local Showcase) w/ Sediment Club, Buck Gooter, Macula Dog, Snakehole & Old Maybe
06/11 - Baltimore, MD
06/12 - Cincinnati, OH @ The Comet w/ Edgar Clinks
06/13 - Chicago, IL @ House Show
06/14 - Viroqua, WI @ Driftless Books w/ Addison Isrealson
06/15 - Eau Claire, WI – Mousetrap w/ Idle Empress & Sloslylove