Song of the Day: Steven Keene – “Don’t Blame it on the Alcohol”

Posted by Greg on Oct 14, 2019 in Music |

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We’ll always have a soft spot for New York-based singer-songwriters. After all one-third of the SITH team was born and raised in the shadows of New York City. And so it is that we’ve taken a mild interest in Steven Keene and his latest EP She Used Me, I Used Her.

Though we can’t say we’re fond of the title, Vin Scelsa considers himself a fan, and if Scelsa likes it, it demands attention. “Don’t Blame it on the Alcohol” is the lead single from the EPP and it borrows shades of both Dylan and Waits. Those might be lofty comparisons but Keene does have an eye towards the icons of folk-rock. Anchored by lilting pedal steel and weary vocals, there’s also some well-placed piano. In all the arrangement is exquisite.

The issue with “Don’t Blame it on the Alcohol” is Keene’s vocals, which to be frank, leave a bit to be desired. But this is an EP that has an interesting story. For the recording of this latest work, Keene used the last analog Helios console ever built. Holed up in New Jersey’s Shorefire Recording Studios just blocks from the Atlantic Ocean, he began to lay down the bones for She Used Me.

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Can the wonders of analog help push this album beyond this tepid lead single? Well, that’s something we’re interested in exposing as we hear more and more of this EP.

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