Keeper E.

KEEPER

Steeped in unease and constructed in an unprecedented time, Keeper E.’s new collection of songs comprises a portrait of an anxious existence that’s as deeply worried as it is catchy against all odds.

On thank u and please and don’t go, the follow-up to her award-winning debut The Sparrows All Find Food, Adelle Elwood again retreated to her Halifax bedroom to compose, engineer, and produce the record herself, a Billie Eilish who doesn’t need a Finneas. The resulting seven songs build on Sparrows’ strong foundation of melody and beats, expanding its medium-fidelity pop into something more robust, anchored by deeper and more intricate drums and sweetened with counter-harmonies and refrains.

thank u and please and don’t go is packed with a litany of one-line worries and shame spirals: “I’m always driving in somebody’s blind spot, thinking I’m going to crash”; “I never know expressions and I’m so embarrassing”; “Who will take care of me if I take care of you?” The stress reaches its apex on “What If We Lose Everything,” a mid-tempo climate-change lament scattered through with unsettling dissonant notes: “There’s no way to go back,” she concludes, with considerable disappointment.

But for all the personal anxieties explored in these songs, Elwood’s music is at its most confident, deeply thoughtful and wise beyond its lived experience. Born in Nova Scotia, Elwood began playing the violin at three years old, moved onto piano by four, and found her own musical voice while in university studying classical piano. Though she claims to be a technological Luddite, her production skills rival any hitmaker’s, and she crafts the indie-pop base of Keeper E. in solitude, with little outside influence.

It’s music that knows it’s bound for bigger audiences in larger spaces. Elwood’s pandemic has been successful by any measure—she released Sparrows to critical acclaim and picked up a Music Nova Scotia Award for Best New Artist while building up her live audience throughout her hometown in between lockdowns. There’s clearly a brass ring thank u and please and don’t go is reaching for here, as each song—no matter how melancholy its lyrical content—offers a danceable rhythm, a clap-along verse, and/or a shout-along chorus (“I can do it, I can do it, get my name off your lips”) that will play in any club or on any festival stage. It’s singular and thrilling, contemporary and timeless. Keeper E’s sound is the moment, but that moment is not fleeting.

[ bio credited to Tara Thorne ]

Follow along with Keeper E. below,

https://linktr.ee/songsbykeeper