First things first, if you’re going into Keep You expecting the same as what was heard on their previous two albums, think again. Keep You marks a brave step for Pianos Become the Teeth, altering their sound completely with the change in Kyle Durfey’s vocal style, scrapping the hardcore, punishing delivery of The Lack Long After and replacing it with a somber melancholy not dissimilar to The National.
Opening track ‘Ripple Water Shine’ sets the bar for what to expect on Keep You, its positive, almost uplifting style displaying a polar contrast to the Pianos Become the Teeth of old; the same guitars are there but the vocals make an overwhelming difference.
While ‘Ripple Water Shine’ maintains a steady tempo, it is ‘April’ where Durfey really shows off his range before ‘Lesions’ takes it up a notch with it’s cries of “I’ve been so touch and go”, which may well prove to be a future staple in their live setlist; indeed the band have already been playing it throughout 2014.
Previously released singles ‘Repine’ and ‘Late Lives’ have already hinted at the scope of Keep You; there is dark and brooding, there is raw, unkempt emotion and it still manages to retain the Pianos Become The teeth identity evidenced on their previous releases. Of course it wouldn’t be a Pianos record without a mammoth closing track (I’m sure there are still people coming to terms with ‘I’ll Get By’) and ‘Say Nothing’ is everything you could want and more. Taking every piece of the album and stitching them into one final seven and a half minute swan song, ‘Say Nothing’ is not only one of the finest tracks Pianos have written, but one of the finest of any artist in 2014.
It was a big step for Pianos Become The Teeth to change such a previously integral element of their sound but in doing so they have simply added another colour to their pallete and opened up to a much wider audience without losing the integrity and emotion that listeners admired so much before. Keep You is an incredible record from an incredible band, take a bow, Pianos Become The Teeth.