“In the incubator, I suppose,” is David Keenan’s response, when asked when he knew he wanted a life in music. “I’ve always made music and it’s always made me.” Discovered at 15 after running away from his Irish to home to play guitar on the streets of Liverpool, the Dundalk bred musician and poet found inspiration in the world around him: “The people around me growing up, the border town where we lived. Characters were numerous, the place was a language all by itself, and watching people become illuminated in the telling of a story was something I became engrossed by. An artist from my hometown called Jinx Lennon was a major discovery when I was a teenager. Him and Arthur Rimbaud [the poet who wrote A Season in Hell].”
His second album What Then? (October 15) is a stunning follow-up to his acclaimed 2020 debut A Beginner’s Guide To Bravery. It would seem everything this singer-songwriter touches is imbued with an Rimbaud-esque uncompromising artistry, marked by a fearless, folk foundation. “Heroic folk-punk surrealist vulnerability with a dash of theosophical exploration,” is how he describes his sound. We just love it.
“My new album is an exploration into what it means to be human during a time of immense change,” he says. “Our innate desire for meaning and understanding, connection with ourselves and the world around us. I unraveled all that I thought I was during the process and was changed by revealing so much about myself. Sonically too, each song is a different emotional environment.”
He also adds that he collaborated with 11 different artists from around the world for each of the 11 tracks. “Each one created a piece of art based on the song they were given. It was a great insight into how we interpret visuals and meaning in language and sound.”
Here’s a day in the life of David Keenan.
Date October 7, 2021
Time I woke up 8:30 a.m.
Every day starts with Stretching, an embrace if I can get it! Making notes for the day ahead and Transcendental Meditation.
Breakfast consists of Coffee, porridge.
To get going I always Sing the theme tune to “The Wombles”.
I don’t feel dressed without Clothes.
Before I start working I must Grease the wheels of the imagination.
Currently working on Album Number 3 and a new book of words.
But I’d really love to be There’s nowhere else a man would rather be, here in the magnificent NOW.
Book I’m reading Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazarethby Reza Aslan.A fascinating look at the historical Jesus of Nazareth and the political era in which he lived. Aslan presents his scholarly chops here, investigating one of the most consequential lives ever lived.
I don’t know how anyone ever Got through life without the reassuring qualities of Barry’s Tea, Father Tedand Erik Satie.
If I had to play one album on repeat, it would be Laughing Stockby Talk Talk.
The perfect midday consists of A prolonged period of laughter.
To help get through the day I need To have a deep conversation with another human being.
Not a day goes by without speaking to My girlfriend Evanne.
My daydreams consist of Playing football with Roy Keane.
On a perfect day, in a perfect world I am in nature, with a guitar, with people I love.
I’ll always fight for Decency and love.
Currently in love with The art of Ian Bourgeot.
Hoping to make time to watch Dune!
By my bedside I always have A notepad and pen.
To help get through the night I’ll meditate to quiet the mind.
When I think about tomorrow, it’s always Newness, come in waves my friend X