In the eight years following the release of 2004’s nine times platinum Brit award winning ‘Hopes & Fears’, every Keane album has marked a clear progression from the previous one: the anxious emotional terrain mapped out by ‘Under The Iron Sea’; the iridescent poptimism of ‘Perfect Symmetry’ featuring the electro charged hit song 'Spiralling', voted Q Magazine’s 2008 Song Of The Year. But what next?
In 2009, as Keane were touring ‘Perfect Symmetry’, Tim Rice-Oxley’s found the basis of a new song taking shape in his head. Its title, ‘Sovereign Light Café’, came from the seafront eaterie in Bexhill where he and Keane drummer Richard Hughes would hang out as teenagers. And from here their fourth studio album ‘Strangeland’ began to take shape.
When Tom Chaplin talks about, “that fantastic unidentifiable thing that distinguishes a good song from a great one,” your thoughts immediately turn to indisputable Keane classics like ‘Somewhere Only We Know’, ‘Everybody’s Changing’ and ‘Is It Any Wonder?’. On ‘Strangeland’ there are certain songs which, at a stroke, are unmistakably, quintessentially Keane. Songs like ‘Disconnected’ and ‘Day Will Come’. At the same time, the small-hours electronica of ‘Black Rain’ and the spare, spectral intimacy of ‘Sea Fog’ are reminders that Keane have never been afraid to cast their net wide for sonic and lyrical inspiration.
As Richard notes; “Whatever it is that makes us Keane – that invisible glue – is still there. And you can hear it all over ‘Strangeland’.”