Andrea Keeble’s latest album, Congratulations, reflects her distinct body of composition and musicianship for the last two decades in Australia’s classical, jazz, gypsy and avant-garde music scenes. Two beautifully arranged songs, with gorgeous, fluid vocals by Dan Witton, bookend the recording. The tracks in-between explore string, jazz, improvisation and experimental ground – from cabaret to gypsy folk to classical and back again.
Andrea is an accomplished string player, and her understanding of the instrument and willingness to push it into new roles and spaces permeates the album. The stylistic range is impressive, with tracks that seem almost wholly experimental suddenly branching into classical ostinatos, gentle lyrics and accessible chord progressions.
The title and title track, far from being self-congratulatory, play on the courage of breaking down old habits. Each composition, as it moves through new, engaging and often haunting space, creates an impression of positive change. If you like eclectic music, you’ll love Congratulations, with its atmospheric flavours of Keeble’s long-term membership with Cosmo Cosmolino, and influences of straight jazz, classical Bartók strings and even Iceland’s Sigur Rós.
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