Keeley Shade ’s debut EP ‘Give Me Time’, is like finding an old necklace on the beach; it’s beautiful, delicate and feels instantly comfortable. The Canadian-born, now Auckland-based singer-songwriter offers a collection of five songs that are intimate and gentle while holding their own strength.
She has arrived at an energy similar to the likes of The XX, Chelsea Jade or US duo Overcoats who pair light and airy vocals with minimalist beats. While Keeley Shade tends to lean more heavily into honeyed guitar accompaniment than electro-pop, she keeps that after midnight feel.
Opener Don’t Keep Driving builds lovingly, with drummer Angus Grainger splashing cymbals to send the song to a lush climax. The following number, Home, feels more typically a pop song, but in this case more traditionally structured and built around the steady rhythms that producer Max Earnshaw uses in his own solo work. It is still incredibly understated. Even with lines like, “We fell into the eye of the storm”, Keeley could just as easily be falling into a soft bed or a beach lounger.
Lead single, On My Mind follows the slow build structure with minimal instrumentation allowing the vocals to swirl in the verses. When it bursts into life, it’s only momentarily and then Keeley is ducking back into mist. All the songs show astute use of layering and tone to give off mood as much as melody. The Mend, for example, seems destined for the screen with an inclusion on a soundtrack around a character’s poignant decision making.
She has clearly poured much into these five songs. Despite only just releasing her first music, Keeley Shade is already an accomplished songwriter and the strength of this first EP is hopefully an indicator of even better things to come.