Úna Keane: In the Deep review – out of time but also timeless

She describes the album, recorded on a 100-year-old baby grand, as ‘1848 meets 2019’

In the Deep
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Artist: Úna Keane
Genre: Alternative
Label: Self-released

She made a lingering impression with her solo piano debut album in 2017, but now Una Keane has expanded her musical palette. Well, somewhat. The Dublin-based musician, who has a background in film soundtrack composition, has described this self-produced and mixed album, recorded on her 100-year-old baby grand piano in her 19th-century railway worker's cottage, as "1848 meets 2019".

While there is a timeless nature to these beautifully composed, minimalist instrumentals, her use of looped tracks and field recordings (as heard on the patter of playing children's footsteps on When You Don't Push, or the sweet, infectious giggle of a child on Ingress) gives it a modern-day perspective akin to the work of Ólafur Arnalds, while her Max Richter influence is also audible.

The clack of typewriter keys augment several songs, too, exquisitely embellishing the tremulous piano of Typewriter Song, while Keane sets suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst’s famous “freedom or death” speech against the roar of a train horn on Emmeline Nineteen Nineteen.

The meditative nature of these atmospheric compositions – lined with both melancholia and a sense of defiant hope – makes for a simultaneously thought-provoking and mesmerising listen.

Lauren Murphy

Lauren Murphy

Lauren Murphy is a freelance journalist and broadcaster. She writes about music and the arts for The Irish Times

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