New Thing #280: Higher Than The Sun

KeaneI'm sure you know by now, even though one of the goals for this year was to expose myself to music I haven't heard before, I've really enjoyed writing about new music experiences featuring some of my favorite artists. And one of my favorites is Keane.

I really liked Somewhere Only We Know when it came out, and then I think I heard Everybody's Changing on Scrubs, perhaps.

I suspected I'd like Keane, but my brother cemented it when he suggested the album - it was piano-heavy, which I tend to like, and he thought I'd like them.

(Later he gave me an autographed copy of their second CD - pictured on the right above - when they came by his radio station to promote it.)

But there's also a sentimental element to Keane that will forever keep me attached to them.

Hopes and Fears - the first album featuring the two songs I mentioned above - came out in May 2004. I'm not sure when I started listening to the album, but that's exactly when my wife and I got married, and Keane was really the first band we both started liking together. (This is no small feat. My wife and I don't exactly share the same musical passions, and we were content to live in different musical worlds. But it sure was nice to have this one thing in common musically.)

We've seen Keane live twice, and besides Billy Joel, which for my wife is kind of like marrying into in-laws who you have to see whenever they're in town, I think they're about the only live show we've both shared and loved.

Thankfully Keane has had a rockier past ten years than my wife and I - there was a rehab for their lead singer, a terrible LP, but then a strong rebound. And now they're putting out a greatest hits album.

I'm past the age as a music consumer to go and get excited about a greatest hits album - I own all of the Keane albums and I really, truly love most of their songs, so I don't need a separate album with just their commercial hits.

(They are releasing live performances of all of the greatest hits, though, so I may have to buy something. And I think in the UK - maybe elsewhere internationally, where the band is huge - they are showing a live video in theaters. Or theatres, I suppose.)

But they are releasing at least one new song. It's called Higher Than The Sun, and it's typical Keane fare. Which means it's good, it's catchy...but truth be told, it doesn't seem destined to go down in history as my favorite Keane song. What it is, though, like the band itself for my wife and I, is a sentimental song.

The band lately has been big on tracking their fan's experiences. What do the songs mean to you? Where have you seen the band play? What big life events have you listened to Keane for? (I guess that question means my wife and I are not alone with our sentimental attachment to the band. When I write about having things 'just right' for the birth of our first daughter, the music involved Hopes and Fears - and maybe even Under The Iron Sea, their second album, playing in the hospital room.)

But it seems like ever since the release of Strangeland - their most recent album - a year-and-a-half ago, the band has gone ultra-reflective. And that's what I love about Higher Than The Sun, or at least the video.

It's like a three-and-a-half minute tour through the band's history, with quick homages to the artwork from each album. I put it here for you to enjoy.

The Best of Keane comes out on November 11th. If you're new to the band, that might be a great place to start. Then I'd recommend checking out all of their work. I love that band. And all of their albums are great. Except Night Train. Go ahead and skip that one.