On Keane’s debut album “Hopes And Fears”, the band showcased to the world their trademark piano-driven sound that blended soaring choruses, a raw authenticity, the powerful vocals of lead singer Tom Chaplin, and the brilliant manipulation of melody by the band’s primary songwriter and bandmember Tim Rice-Oxley. With the sophomore album “Under the Iron Sea”, there was a harder edge to some of the songs and lyrically, it got darker and dealt with the turbulent relationships between the bandmembers. The third album “Perfect Symmetry” saw Keane adopting a more “pop-oriented” sound. This undoubtedly had a divisive effect on the band’s global fanbase. In 2010, the release of an 8-track EP “Night Train” marked Keane’s second flirtation with mainstream pop. In fact, the EP’s lead single “Stop for a minute” featured rapper K’Naan. Through each of these musical incarnations, Keane has maintained an honesty and authenticity. They have never attempted to fit a confining mould. They do not care about being cool. They simply enjoy making the music that they fancy. It is difficult to not respect a band like that – especially since there are not very many bands around that make artistic decisions in the same vein as those of Keane. For fans that perceived Keane’s “Night Train” EP as a dramatic deviation from the trademark Keane sound showcased on “Hopes and Fears”, the new single “Silenced by the night” will be a source of excitement.
“Silenced by the night” embodies the musical traits that made “Hopes and Fears” the musical milestone that it is in modern pop/rock music. Tom Chaplin sings over a continuous piano refrain about resurrecting a love “that once was”. Like most songs by Keane, “Silenced by the night” brings a smile to the face and a feeling of hope. If this new single is even remotely representative of the rest of the material on the new Keane album “Strangeland” (due for release on May 8 in the US), music aficionados definitely have a lot to look forward to.
I personally am happy that bands like Keane exist in today’s pop/rock music landscape. Their music and spirit is a good distraction from the train-wreck that the music industry is today. Keane just might be one of the brightest rays of hope for contemporary music.
Last, but not least, here is a full-length clip of “Silenced by the night”.