Friday, April 6, 2018

Ben Keeler's 'Movo Daring'

Ben Keeler Movo Daring Release Party Friday, April 20 @ The Loving Touch w/Mango Lane & Ancient Language MORE INFO

Some songwriters just know how to surge the serotonin... They find chord progressions that just pull you ever onward, even effectively lift you up, and their melodic vocals spiral smoothly with simple iterations of "having a really good time" with you! And that's Ben Keeler to a capital T.... With Will Shattuck on drums and Ricky Ruggero on bass, the Ben Keeler band are getting ready to celebrate the release of Movo Daring a soul loosener of an album that unfurls the aura and opens up the windows to let in the "Sunshine!"

Call it power-pop if you will; Keeler's MO as a song creator is making balletic riffs, hooky drum parts and honeyed croons and choruses into something that embodies a kind of exuberance... Not pop for the sake of pop, not any kind of mindless melodrama or fabricated frolic, but substantive short stories from the heart, arced into melodic ribbons so catchy it makes you remember why (and how) music can be so fun and rejuvenating to listen to...

I last caught up with Keeler when he was unveiling a single ("Sunshine") in the winter of 2017--a song that would wind up on Movo Daring. 

Keeler's kinetic rock signature is shining at subtle-to-surging moments like the unassuming bridge of "I Don't Want No," as it builds to a final chorus. Not only is this song exemplary of his cavorting cascaded riff-styles along the frets, but the bridge goes quiet as the guitars stream along with a subdued business, it's a radiance that simmers into these two full measures of just choppy riffs where you can almost see him grinning at you, before it bursts....

...And so many of these songs are full of those energizing bursts--that's the kind of "pop" I'm talking about with Keeler, it's ebullient, bounces back and it stretches and it launches and it stutter-steps and it can maybe even do a backflip. It's the kind of pop tunes that draw you in, because they're radiating a certain spirit that you can't put your finger on, but you wanna see it and experience it up close. You want those riffs to burst into you. You want to move with it. It dares you to...

Keeler's been moving around a bit in the years leading up to 2016/2017, spending some time in Chicago and San Francisco before resettling back here in Michigan to work on music. I think all that movo-movement is demonstrated in the propulsive arrangements he's got on this album---which you can hear, live, at the Loving Touch on April 20th. 

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