Niall Healy | 13.08.12
Folksy and understated is the best way to describe the debut EP from Co. Down’s Chris Keys. ‘New day’ is the name and it’s a fitting title for a short and unassumingly sweet affair . There’s a gentle quality to the lyrics and melody that never threaten to swamp the listener. Keys sounds like Fionn Regan on a Mashup with Gary lightbody. There’s a simple yet effective grasp of what makes you listen here that is all too often missing from the singer songwriter box of tricks. It’s engaging whilst being complimented by a crispness of production that makes the six tracks sound intimate yet professional. It delivers a nicely fine-tuned slice of genuine honest to goodness song writing.
Standout tracks are the lilting , soulful ‘City lights’ the upbeat acoustic beats of ‘Daydreams’ and the poppy tunesmithery evident on ‘You and I’. Keys has a style that is reminiscent of a lower tempo Jack Johnson. Think Hawaiian acoustic surf meets a Belfast twang if that’s not too clunky a comparison. There’s a definite appealing quality to Key’s vocals that never overpowers or grates with the listener. He has delivered an EP full of pleasant moments against a mostly acoustic backdrop. The northern music scene is in abundantly rude health as of late and Chris Keys is another name to watch out for.