Music Review of Desire by Andrew Keese and the Associates

“Andrew Keese & The Associates” is a four-piece indie band from Melbourne, Australia. Their musical genre are mostly indie folk rock, piano rock and indie pop/rock. Currently the four members of Andrew Keese & The Associates are Andrew Keese himself (Vocal, Guitar, Piano, Hammond Organ & Rhodes), Sunny Leunig (Guitar), Phil Smith Major (Bass & Backing Vocal) and Andrew Cowie (Drums & Percussion). Andrew Keese & The Associates have this talent of writing great and meaningful lyrics. Even if you just look at their lyrics, you would know the song would come out great. In contrast, if you just listen to their songs, sometimes it’s hard to figure out what they’re trying to express. But after looking at the lyrics, you’d would be amazed at the story told throughout the song. Sometimes, i keep thinking that they’re the Australian Okkervil River or even Ben Folds.

Desire by Andrew Keese & The Associates is best listen to through earphones. The reason? Most tracks here are best enjoyed when you’re alone or in somewhere quiet. If you’re looking forward to spend your weekend away alone, try give Desire a spin.

Desire welcomes us in a slow emotional instrumental starter, “Mercy”. It is pure piano-playing in different keys throughout this track. It’s like Andrew is trying to tell us a story with each different note. I can’t help but keep thinking that this would be the prelude for any performances and concerts. Just imagine it, Mercy would be a great intro in front of thousands of crowds.

Desire continues with the beautiful “Little Possessions”. Beautiful instruments and rhythm throughout this track. I like the part whenever Andrew goes, “Little Possessions…”, there’s a cute and yet appealing sound that follows. I’m not sure what the instrument is called, but it’s really good. My guess would be an organ. Little Possessions would definitely be a pop rock version of the traditional Christmas anthem, Silent Night. Only Little Possessions… It’s starting to get into my head…

In “Transmission”, you can see the real talent of Andrew Keese & The Associates. They managed to combine piano and guitar and transform them into a crunchy classic. Well honestly this combination is not something new, but somehow i can connect with Transmission. I will not fail to have fun with Andrew Keese & The Associates whenever i plug Transmission to my ears. There’s something unique as well here… Andrew Keese & The Associates managed to keep Transmission loud and rock yet soft. Go figure..

“Blessed Are The Meek” is a beautiful ballad yet again. Just love the violin in Blessed Are The Meek! When it’s the verse, Andrew sings with emotions, when the chorus comes, Andrew goes, “Blessed Are The Meek, baby..” in repetition. From Andrew Keese & The Associates’ musical style, they resemble Ben Folds, but from their lyrical talent, they are remarkable. The best part is the chorus, where you can hear the piano playing in the background. It sounds very full, but they can do it better if the rest of Andrew Keese & The Associates joined in and sing along as well.

“The Shadows” starts off with some repetition of guitar slowly, like those that you would hear in a rock song. But honestly, i first thought that The Shadows would be some loud rock and roll track. But after 30 seconds into this track, i realized i was wrong. You can listen to the guitar riffing throughout this track, instead of the piano. Even without piano, Andrew Keese & The Associates still sound great. I just like the part, “Here come the shadows again…”. It’s definitely the climax of The Shadows.

“The Burden Of Proof” got me thinking that it would be a great ballad, it was the impression i got after listetning to only the first 20 seconds of the song. The piano and guitar combination are here to stay. And as Andrew sings along, the music that accompanied especially the violin, made this song full of emotion! I can feel the sadness and sorrow in The Burden Of Proof. Andrew Keese & The Associates made this song so great that it leaves an impact on me. I love the violin here.. And the last 1:14 minutes will blow you away, it’s just so gorgeous!

To me, “Ameline” has a wonderful storyline. It seems to be telling a story about a girl called Ameline who has left behind her loved one and now hopes that his previous love will accept her back. Sounds like a romantic drama movie.  Another sad song to ponder on, especially the chorus where Andrew goes, “I watched you take that medicine, it was bitter as brine, once your words were vintage wine, now they’re alkaline, you’d better pray there’s still time for you, Ameline.” Don’t get me wrong, Ameline is a great track with great musical arrangement and mixture. The violin and guitar made a good team here. With its potential, Ameline could as well be an anthem for Andrew Keese & The Associates.

“Singapore” is like a frustrating and yet long-for-love ballad. The title itself captured my attention as i was from Malaysia, just a neighbour to Singapore. Andrew yet again sings with emotions from start to finish. From the beginning, Andrew sings as if he’s building up the energy for the chorus, “Tonight, i got lonely… Over you…” And honestly, the violin that comes straight after the the choruses was gorgeous. I always play it back to saviour the moment.. There’s also a guitar solo after the second chorus, great effort by Andrew Keese & The Associates.

“Sertraline Hydrochloride” is a strong slow drive. Throughout the whole track, Andrew’s voice was the one that stands out. It sort of tells us to live life happily and don’t dwell on unhappy things and the past. A very meaningful song with clever lyrics written by Andrew. At certain points, Andrew can be heard raising his vocal as to make Sertraline Hydrochloride a memorable listen. “This is the sound, of clouds touching down, on wet city streets, put that sorrow at your feet, and don’t say it’s the end, when the day is about to begin…” I really think this sentence is going to haunt me for a long time to come. Especially, “and don’t say it’s the end, when the day is about to begin…” There’s someting to the rhythm of this special phrase.

“Someday” is somewhat similar to Sertraline Hydrochlorid. A strong slow drive with clever lyrics. If i’m right, it sounded like the person that Andrew refers to is waiting for her time to come, meaning kicking the bucket. Andrew’s voice was slow, steady and full of emotions. And Someday was almost an acoustic song, except for the chorus, “Don’t fool yourself, your time’s gonna come, you think the years happen to everybody else, someday you’re gonna be that someone…” where it gets louder and the organ kicks in.

The title track, “Desire” closes the album in style. Desire is such a radio-friendly track and it somehow sounds like a Christmas song. It’s also a cheerful track where the constant playing of guitar can be heard and yeah, the rhythm of the guitar is great and infectious. Can’t help but find myself enjoying the music of Desire. From the lyrics, i can only tell that Desire tells us that everyone of has a desire or desires, it’s up to us to control it, as desire is always up to no good. Andrew adds, “Desire has many faces, hides in the darkest places, so keep a star in the night of your heart, and find someone to watch over you..” You gotta love this track by Andrew Keese & The Associates.

Rating: Desire is definitely a take-off point for Andrew Keese & The Associates. It has shown the talent and specialty of Andrew Keese & The Associates, i was wondering how they would sound like at first. Perhaps just another indie rock band trying to make it big? However i was wrong, they write their own music and all the times in Desire, they were just being themselves, belting out tunes that touch hearts and create emotions. Desire could have been better with the sound arrangement and engineering, but given it is their debut, they have done a good job. I’m becoming a fan of Andrew Keese & The Associates, nonetheless. Desire is warm and feel-good, i’d give them 7.0 out of 10, straight from my heart.

Stand-Out Tracks (My Picks): Little Possessions, Transmission, Blessed are the Meek, The Burden of Proof, Singapore and Desire.