With such a gloriously iconic title, Keys’ new album ‘Bring Me the Head of Jerry Garcia’ is not only a collection of road-tested songs but also a bold new start for the band. It’s the curtains pulled back on a cold frosty morning to let in beams of exotic, vibrant Indian summer light that brakes over the horizon to fill your tired eyes with wonder.
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Recorded over two days in Resolven Miner’s Welfare Institute ‘Bring Me the Head of Jerry Garcia’ captures the KEYS live energy whilst still exploring new musical vocabulary, every note played is vital and of the moment.
The autumnal ‘Bad Penny’ is also announced today as the last single before the album release.
The band launches the album at The Gate in Cardiff on 19th December with a big party with support from DD Darillo, Kidsmoke, HMS Morris. More info HERE.
Here is Matthew Evens the band’s singers recollection of the creation of ‘Bring Me the Head of Jerry Garcia’:
“The original intention and cod-manifesto for this album were “we don’t want anyone to like it”. It was an amusing and liberating stance and I recommend anyone to adopt this posture in the early stages of a project. We weren’t able to sustain that attitude but it certainly allowed us to take a few more risks, musically; and it definitely feels like the beginning of something, as opposed to some sort of conclusion.
To us, everything we’re doing is sounding really fresh and melodic. We’ve been playing these songs for years now and they still feel vital when we play them live. As always, we were listening to a lot of music during the production of this album. Bands like Hooded Fang, ESG, Ty Segall, White Fence, Women, Pavement, Scout Niblett… the list goes on.
It was recorded in 2 days in Resolven Miner’s Welfare Institute. There’s an old cinema attached to the ‘Welf’ that is closed to the public – it’s a health and safety nightmare. We brought portable recording facilities there and set up on the stage. We had to become fully paid up members before we were granted entry: £5 a year! But the reverb you hear on the record is that hall singing back to us. Gorgeous Edwardian architecture reverberating through the room mics. There’s an energy on the tracks coz we played live that you just don’t get from overdubbing; there’s the off mistake on there but it all adds to the spontaneity we feel; we didn’t go surgical and tidy up the quirks too much.
Lyrically we played about with surrealism a lot more than on previous albums. There’s ‘runty litters’ on Pussy Footing; ‘Marching boys louder than a drowning noise’ on Brand Names; ‘Bullfinches flinching’ on Bad Penny… we definitely looked at the world around us a lot more on this album and again, its opened a whole new approach to writing.
The title was inspired by the Warren Oates film we went to watch with Carwyn from Colorama one evening at Chapter Arts Centre. We came up with it quite early on. To imagine eating Jerry Garcia’s brain. The Owsley acid entering the bloodstream before recording. To see the world through Jerry’s eyes”