Monday 5 March 2012

Ryan Keen - Focus

Stuck in a dead-end job dreaming of a career in music is something many people have endured at one point or another. This track from the young English singer-songwriter Ryan Keen puts it into practice.

The bio on his website might claim he's "carving out his own unique niche in music", but the comparisons with Ed Sheeran are palpable, not least that he supported Sheeran on his '+' tour. Keen has similarly been gigging around the UK to drum up support and his songwriting and rhythmic guitar playing are in a similar vein. Like Sheeran, Keen's career so far is another example of the triumph of the ordinary guy.

Keen's gentle vocal isn't hugely remarkable, though his guitar playing (apparently inspired by his classical training and experience of flamenco) is decent. But the focus here (excuse the pun) is on the songwriting. The sentiment might be an obvious one, a young guy seeking to make his mark in the music industry, but it's nicely done. The lyrics are a little repetitive, but convey well the song's simple message - "Come on over, take a chance now...You're caught in the middle, between your heart and your mind".

What really lifts the song though is the stop-motion video by Andy Shackleford, known for his recent work on Postman Pat. It neatly portrays the singer's journey in a series of fantasy scenes, swapping his 'I love spreadsheets' mug (doesn't everyone?) for a guitar. A suitably chilled out track for a chilled out Monday.


Listen: Focus is taken from the upcoming EP 'Focus' (pictured) released March 18th.

Watch: Keen has a number of UK tour dates in April and May, see his website for details.