Left to Right: Tim Rice-Oxley, Richard Hughes, Tom Chaplin; Not Pictured: Jesse Quin
"Oh simple thing, where have you gone? I'm getting old and I need something to rely on."
Somewhere Only We Know
Keane are an alternative rock band from East Sussex, England. The band consists of Tim Rice-Oxley (piano and backing vocals), Tom Chaplin (lead vocals and guitar), Richard Hughes (drums and percussion), and Jesse Quin (bass guitar and percussion).
Keane's origins date back to 1993, when Rice-Oxley and his friend Dominic Scott got together with Hughes to form a rock band known as Lotus Eaters
while studying at the University College, London. The group played covers of songs from their favorite musicians, such as U2
and The Beatles
. In 1997, Chaplin joined the band as the lead vocalist, while Rice-Oxley moved to piano. The title of the band changed to Cherry Keane
, named after a friend of Chaplin's mother. Shortly after she died of cancer, the name was shortened to Keane
. They made their debut live appearance in 1998.
Scott left the band in 2001 to continue his education after Keane's self-produced promotional singles had limited success. The band was discovered in 2002 by Simon Williams, who had been responsible for discovering Coldplay
. They released their first commercial single, Everybody's Changing, in 2003. The attention they recieved from this track allowed them to sign with Island Records. Their debut album, Hopes and Fears
, was released in 2004. It achieved great commercial success and won them the 2005 BRIT awards for Best British Album and British Breakthrough Act.
Keane's second album, Under the Iron Sea
was released in 2006 and reached #1 on the UK album chart. The album built on the piano-driven melodies of Hopes and Fears
by using distortion pedals on the piano to mimic the sound of electric guitars. Jesse Quin joined the band in 2008 to help record Keane's third album, Perfect Symmetry
. The album was influenced by 1980's synth pop and employed a guitar for the first time.
Keane's fourth studio album, Strangeland,
was released in May of 2012.
- Hopes and Fears (2004)
- Live Recordings 2004 (2005): A live album EP with six tracks.
- Under the Iron Sea (2006)
- Keane Live 06 (2006): Limited release of performances during the Under the Iron Sea Tour.
- Perfect Symmetry (2008)
- Retrospective EP 1: Everybody's Changing (2008): A seven track EP.
- Keane Live Recordings: European Tour 2008 (2008)
- The Cherrytree Sessions (2009): Acoustic rearrangements of Somewhere Only We Know, Perfect Symmetry, and The Lovers are Losing.
- Night Train (2010): An eight track EP.
- Retrospective EP 2: Sunshine (2010): A seven track EP.
- iTunes Festival 2010 (2010)
- Strangeland (2012)
- The Best of Keane (2013)
Keane provide examples of:
- Album Title Drop: Each album plays with it differently:
- Hopes and Fears comes from a line in "Snowed Under," a B-Side to "Somewhere Only We Know" that wasn't on the album itself (that is, until the Updated Re-release five years later).
- Under The Iron Sea is dropped in "Crystal Ball," which is on the album; the track before it on the album is called "The Iron Sea," but it's an instrumental.
- Perfect Symmetry just has a title track that drops the title in the lyrics.
- Strangeland has a title track that wound up not making it on the album proper, but was available on the deluxe edition.
- A Wild Rapper Appears: Double-subverted in "Stop for a Minute," in which rapper K'naan starts out singing but switches to rapping after the second chorus. Played straight in "Looking Back."
- Charity Motivation Song: "The Night Sky" was written for the charity War Child.
- Christmas Songs: When Keane was asked to do a Christmas song for the radio, they purposefully avoided doing a cheesy cover, instead using "A Heart To Hold You," which has no connection to Christmas besides its warm and cozy feel.
- Concept Video: A few of their videos tell drawn-out stories, most notably Disconnected and the US version of Crystal Ball.
- Darker and Edgier: The whole Under the Iron Sea album. It was written during a time where the band members were fighting amongst each other and Chaplin was struggling with drinking and drug problems.
- Epic Rocking: "She Has No Time" (5:45), "Broken Toy" (6:07), "Russian Farmer's Song" (6:34).
- Gratuitous French: "Black Burning Heart"
- Lonely Piano Piece: "Atlantic"
- Lyrical Dissonance: "Spiralling" has an upbeat tempo, dance/funk feel, and energetic shouts of "ooh!". Its a song about the futility of human endeavor.
- In general, Keane tends to write a lot of songs like this, combining lyrics about relationship issues with upbeat tunes.
- New Sound Album: Perfect Symmetry departed from the band's typical piano pop sound by using guitars and synthesizers influenced by 80s music, leading to They Changed It, Now It Sucks for some fans.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: Jesse Quin began touring with the band for Under The Iron Sea; after appearing on subsequent recordings, he was made and credited as an official member of the band before the release of Strangeland.
- Protest Song: "Is It Any Wonder?". Word of God says that it's about Britain's support of the Iraq War.
- Step Up to the Microphone: Keyboardist and main songwriter Rice-Oxley sings "Your Love."
- War Is Hell: The song "A Bad Dream" is about a fighter pilot in WWII, based off of a W. B. Yeats poem called "An Irishman Forsees His Death".
- "Black Rain" also fits this theme.