Writing a review on anything from Keithian is hard for me because I LOVE Keithian, and anything he touches is gold. How can I be unbiased? Today, I take an in-depth look at new music from Keithian, focusing on his recent album release, ‘Green Clouds,’ and discuss why this album and his entire catalog have something for every music lover.
Who is Keithian?
Keithian is one of my favorite independent artists of any genre. He is creative beyond measure, understands how music connects to human emotion, and has the animal magnetism necessary to be a star. I have had the pleasure of interviewing Keithian on a few occasions, diving into his unique journey in the industry with time spent both signed and independent, and who he is as a person.
Keithian is truly special, with Afro-Cuban roots and gospel and jazz musical influences. His musical upbringing aided in a focus and clarity that I rarely encounter. His music is genre-bending, poppy with R&B, jazz, gospel, Latin, and Caribbean sparks where necessary. Because of his diverse background and influences, combined with an impeccable ear for sound, his work leaves the door open for anyone who loves music to find something that resonates with them in his body of work.
The Only Interview That Ever Made Me Nervous
One of the early viral music trends on TikTok led me to find and fall in love with Keithian. If you don’t remember the viral #pillowtalkchallenge or weren’t yet on TikTok at that point, check out this clip for some education or a refresher.
Around the time the pillow talk challenge exploded on TikTok, Keithian came up on my radio interview list, thanks to my co-host at that time, CAL. Because I knew who Keithian was, and because he had that blue checkmark, I was incredibly nervous interviewing him. As it turns out, Keithian is just as humble and relatable as he seems. What stood out to me the most about him was that his entire life has been in music. He lives, dreams, and breathes music – even joking that he only once had a “regular job” that wasn’t music-related. For me, that is living the dream!
Since the Interview
Since then, I have followed Keithian religiously, tapping into new favorites like ‘Communicate,’ ‘Blackout,’ ‘Go Bae,‘ ‘Chance?’ and even a 2021 Christmas project, among a litany of other releases. ‘Communicate’ and ‘Blackout’ are some of my recent favorites with some Latin and alternative pop vibes. When I heard that Keithian put out a new project, I was ready to hear whatever new and exciting sonic surprises awaited me.
It’s important to note that prior to the Green Clouds release, Keithian suffered both the loss of his brother and close friend Malcolm, who had been his mixing and mastering engineer for years. The project holds memories of each of them throughout, and their respective legacies have helped push Keithian and this project through to fruition.
Green Clouds, Song by Song
‘Green Clouds’ kicks off with ‘Chance?‘ The track showcases Keithian’s stunning vocal range, an upbeat tempo, and sunny disposition while asking your lover about the chance of hearing they don’t love you. The lyrics on this one illustrate a toxic connection and the sense of addiction you feel in that situation. The track is also, to date, the most popular on the project, and rightfully so. It’s relatable, lyrically spicy, and an easy listen.
‘Go Bae‘ is the second track on the project and also second in popularity on the album. The song, ‘Go Bae,’ was released as a single in 2021 and is nearing the 100K streaming mark. As a piece of the Green Clouds album, it fits right into the theme, catchy and sunny sounding with deep and vibey synth sounds, expressing frustration in waiting for and chasing a potential lover.
‘Storm‘ fits right in at track number 3, and the song is a little deeper than the previous two tracks, expressing loss and a sense of helplessness in a relationship. “I decided that this won’t get much better.” The abrupt ending is STUNNING and creatively powerful, matching the energy of endings, with the rug being pulled out from underneath you when you least expect it.
Track 4 of Green Clouds brings us to ‘Wasted.’ There is so much happening at the song opening that it feels like you’re swimming in sound. ‘Wasted’ is brighter than previous songs, placed in the project as an uplifting moment after that deep sadness from ‘Storm.’ I love the groovy bass, the sunny sound bath throughout, and the trap-reminiscent drum beat driving the movement of the song. The song speaks to a moment of assessing whether or not a lover is an infatuation or something more. “Am I just wasted off of your love?’
‘Guaranteed‘ brings something immediately deeper, darker, and more mature sounding than any other track on the project. It has jazz notes and layers of voices that make the whole song sound FULL and haunting, like walking through a memory. “Why put yourself through agony when nothing’s ever guaranteed?” is a standout lyric, echoing the sentiment of the entire project – a reflection on the frustrations and shortcomings of connecting emotionally with others. Keithian’s spoken word in this track is perfectly placed and timed to ponder the lyrics in your head while vibing out.
‘Green Clouds,’ the title track of the album, is next. This song feels like the late 60s or early 70s and makes you feel like you are “floating in a green cloud” while Keithian shares his toxic love story and inability to reciprocate an uneven connection. ‘Green Clouds’ is my favorite song on the album because the energy is elevated but subtly sinister. You can feel the emotional conflict in the soundscape and the mental escape into that green cloud with a vocal run that will make anyone fall in love.
The acoustic version of ‘Wasted‘ is the final track. While this version is more simplistic, it focuses attention on the lyrics, heightening the emotional response to that feeling of potentially wasted time, energy, and emotion on another person.
‘Green Clouds’ is an emotional rollercoaster relative to the human experience translating the complexities of love and loss through music. It’s an incredible project to sit and vibe to, and as with all things Keithian, I stan.
Check out the entire album here, and let me know what you think in the comments. 💋
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