Fleur Green And The Keepers. Independent. 30 Oct 2017
One thing I’ve learned over many years of writing about music is that it’s always worth giving a song or an album or an artist a chance, even if reading a snippet of a press release would ordinarily have you reaching for the skip button. While everyone in this business loves to pigeonhole, some things just don’t fit a normal classification. Local artist Fleur Green is certainly one such musician. After reading that she and her band The Keepers are an alt-pop act, I would normally just move on, but for whatever reason, I decided to dig a little deeper and give Fleur’s latest offering a quick listen, and I’m glad I did!
While I do normally have a strong affinity for the heavier end of the musical spectrum, I do pride myself on having eclectic (and often, eccentric) tastes, so who knew, perhaps what one may describe as alt-pop may tickle my fancy. Listening to Fleur Green and The Keepers’ debut long player When The Tide Rushes In, it became clear very quickly that there’s a lot more on offer here than would normally be encompassed by pop description.
It was Fleur’s first single, Nadia, that really grabbed me. This was a mix of jazz, carnival, mellow pop-rock, world music flavours, and even touches of the classical, all driven by an awesome catchy wistful melody and tidy 6/8 groove. There’s a sultry mood, driven by strings and sax, and fantastic sounding vibraphone. Anyone playing vibes in a modern release deserves a closer listen! Couple that with gentle poetic vocals and I was in for the ride.
The rest of the album continues on a similar theme, with an interesting mix of instrumentation giving the whole thing a festive, carnival feel but with a classical style undercurrent. I learned that Fleur plays an impressive range of the instruments herself, dabbling in piano, strings, tuned percussion, and more. The Keepers are her rhythm section, and there’s a range of guests on the album too, supplying tubas, sax, cello and guitars where needed. Musically, the tunes owe a lot to jazz forms, but it’s certainly in no way traditional, though would go together with piano jazz nicely.
The more I listen, the more depth I realise there is. There are different melodies and interludes to hear with repeated listens of When The Tide Rushes In, new instrumental forms and nuances and the like, and that’s to say nothing of the lyrical content. While for me music speaks louder than words, there’s some interesting comments and themes that Fleur addresses here. It rounds the whole thing out to a nice little package. And best of all, it’s a local package too!
Fleur Green and The Keepers launch When The Tide Rushes In at The Grace Emily on Saturday November 4th. Check out their Facebook page for future local gigs.
When: 4 Nov
Where: The Grace Emily