Usually we’d start a review with a bit of background on the artist. A brief paragraph that brings people up to speed on the topic at hand. This won’t be the case in this review as any attempts to find more information on David Keohane ended in vain. The only digital footprint was his Soundcloud page. From this we gather that his name is indeed David Keohane and he’s from a place called New Dorklington, Ireland. We’ve got a fair hunch that he’s pulling our collective leg here so either he’s very serious about his music, so much so that he leaves no information about him. Or else he’s having a bit of a laugh with his self-created, fictional hometown. The songs are deadly serious, so we’re going to go with the former.
’11 Short Works’ is an elusive collection of songs. It opens with the lumbering swell of Listen. There is no beat, no melody and no vocals. The song can only be described as atmosphere. It doesn’t evoke a feeling so much as a mood. 30 seconds in and we’re feeling that this album could be a score for a non-existent film. The order of the day is moody keyboards, repetitive piano motifs and a foreboding sense of dread.
Over the runtime of 32 minutes there’s little effort to change the formula. The songs start small, then they swell and bulge until they reach a critical mass. When they peak they simply repeat the journey back down and finish as modestly as they began.
Nine tracks in we are taken away from the overbearing atmospherics for a short detour east as some Asian stringed instruments engage in a playful jam for Clair de Lune ??.
The whole thing closes with some xylophones that gently bring any tension to a gentle halt. All in it’s quite a draining listen that requires concentration to stop your mind wandering. As a stand-alone collection of songs it doesn’t work but as a supporting piece of art to a film it could come out a lot stronger.