After gaining local recognition with the band Session Motts, Dubliner Keeley Moss decided to take control of her own destiny in 2020 with the modestly-titled Keeley. Two EP’s followed, and now we arrive at debut long player Floating Above Everything Else. Taking Keeley’s encyclopaedic musical knowledge and filtering it through a psychedelic/dream pop sensibility makes for an intriguing listen, and its emotional depth will keep you returning again and again.
Opening with ‘Seeing Everything’, a track that slowly seeps into your DNA, it gradually encompasses the listener in a soft fuzzy ball made of sublime sonics, and before you realise it, you are totally subsumed in Keeley’s exquisite world. It’s not unlike having a shot of novocaine at the dentist; the warm, contented glow surrounds like a cocoon, and sends you soaring like cotton candy clouds in an azure sky. As part of the “nu gaze” movement, the magic of Floating Above Everything Else is its ethereal, otherworldly quality. It seems to emanate from another dimension, and its slightly distant quality invites you to infer your own meaning upon the song, and that creates a tangible bond between Keeley and the listener.
The murder of German backpack Inga-Maria Hauser in 1988 whilst visiting Northern Ireland, has had a big impact upon Keeley and has informed nearly all of her song (and other) writing. While not the most uplifting subject matter, this album is not as moribund as you’d expect. There’s lamentation here, but there’s also celebration of Hauser’s love of life. Take ‘The Glitter And The Glue’ for example, it’s the musical equivalent of a party popper that sprays shards of effervescence in every direction. The word “earworm” is overused these days, but in this case it is perfectly apt, this cut will, like the rest of the album, haunt you long after the disc has stopped spinning.
Floating Above Everything Else sounds like it could have been recorded at any point in the last four decades, and subsequently it has a timeless quality, and exists outside our current time frame. Sonic Youth, Pavement and Elastica are all useful points of reference, yet the great thing about Keeley is that it sounds like no one else but Keeley, a rare commodity in this day and age. The notes and tonality employed on cuts such as ‘You Never Made It That Far’ seem to reach deep into our psyche and tug at out heartstrings. Such is the immersive nature of this album that you might feel a little drained as the epic ‘Shine A Light’ brings the album to a conclusion. It’s a track that alters the very fabric of time, as you become lost in its hypnotic beauty. Echoing from another plane, a haunting coda of ‘Both Sides Now’ featuring Inga-Maria makes a stark finale, and one that won’t be forgotten in a hurry.
- Seeing Everything
- Arrive Early
- The Glitter And The Glue
- Floating Above Everything Else
- To A London Sunrise
- Echo Everywhere
- Forever’s Where You Are
- Never Here Always There
- You Made It That Far
- Totally Entranced
- Shine A Light