Music

Chaos Controlled

Bill Keough’s You’ll Disappear, Just Like They All Do is a revelation of midlife angst

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“Therapy without the doctors bills I suppose.”

That’s the way Bill Keough muses about his most recent set of songs off his newest album You’ll Disappear, Just Like They All Do. The songs on this latest effort come out at various points with biting tone, apathetic reflections, and shades of gray humor that create an album tempered and moody, yet a raucous call for celebration and heartfelt earnestness.

“I went through a two year stretch (during the writing and recording process of the record) where the up-to-then always solid walls of my life were caving in all around me,” Bill says. “Death, deception, divorce, self doubt… you name it, it all found its way to me. This led to a lot of re-self discovery and an honest reckoning of what had transpired and where it had dropped me off at after the tumultuous trip. Perfect timing if one is looking for subject matter for songs for sure.”

The title You’ll Disappear, Just Like They All Do sets the tone in a Rust Never Sleeps kind of Neil Young-resignation, along with a distinctive ‘90s garage, grunge, post-punk style reminiscent of Modest Mouse or Pixies. With those elements at play, mood becomes a big aspect of this record.

I can’t think of a local record quite as moody or style-focused as this one in recent memory.

With the lead-off track (complete with a music video) “I Am the Lighthouse,” Bill presents a noise-driven collection of music that uses time and space, sparse lyricism, and chaotic guitars to bring stark reality to the forefront, but allows it to linger over lush musical arrangements. The tracks “Bed” into “Gentle Smile” offer the best expression of Bill’s Frank Black approach to lyrics spat out between long forays into dual guitar interludes that follow unexpected chordal changes.

“I feel it’s vital to present a story in a series of songs where attention to sequencing of the songs from beginning to end plays an important role,” Bill says. “It sets a tone and lays a fluid foundation for the mood, whether it’s the one you intended or what the listener walks away with and comes back to. My songs are deeply personal. I have no reservations in parting my ribs to share my heart in hopes that it might strike a chord with anyone willing to listen and relate on their own level. It’s what’s always been special to me about music, hearing that song that hits you in such a way you never expected.”

Along with his 75 or Less Records counterparts, Bill falls in with artists given the artistic space to be themselves both in the studio and out. Listening to You’ll Disappear, Just Like They All Do plays like an album meant to be heard recorded. Yet, each song can clearly be imagined to take on a life of its own, unafraid to exist as something unique to what is heard on the album.

“I keep it pretty simple [live],” Bill says, “just an electric acoustic guitar and a few pedals heading back through my amp. I have not had the joy of playing with a full band for the last few years although nothing is more euphoric than that experience for sure, musically. I definitely fall into the category of a recording artist who plays their songs live. It used to be the opposite back in the day.”
Bill Keough is currently working on another video from the album to be released soon.

Find the recent release on Bandcamp, and 75 or Less Records, as well as on iTunes, Spotify, YouTube and Amazon Music.