Keel Her – Keel Her

A record infinitely more about the process than the result.

Label: Critical Heights

Rating:

With a SoundCloud account that pays testimony to a one-time habit of writing, recording and uploading a song every day, and a collaboration with R Stevie Moore before she’s even reached adulthood proper, that this is Rose Keeler-Schäffeler’s debut long-player comes as somewhat of a surprise.

So it’s probably best to view ‘Keel Her’ less as an album, more as a compilation – the choice to include remixes on a record is usually made six months later in a desperate ‘deluxe’ release; here she’s opted for two – and scattered them in the middle. Sounds veer from the nursery rhyme-esque ‘Only Geeks Come Bearing Gifs’ to the scuzzy punk of ‘Wanna Fuck’ via the more familiar fuzz-pop of ‘Don’t Look At Me’.

The scruffy recordings, the scratchy guitars, the stream-of-consciousness timelines; any newcomer to Keel Her can learn everything they need to from ‘Intro’ alone. ‘Keel Her’ is a record – and Rose herself an artist – who’ll be enjoyed only by fans of the aesthetic to which she’s glued steadfastly. ‘You Think You’re So Rock And Roll’ is a half-song; the vocals of ‘In My Head’ completely unintelligible. The titles ‘Don’t Look At Me’, ‘(I Hate It) When You Look At Me’ and ‘Riot Girl’ might hold the key. Keel Her is a reluctant pop star. ‘Keel Her’ is a record infinitely more about the process than the result.

So, like those who’ve followed Keeler-Schäffeler’s exploits from early on, the material on ‘Keel Her’ is probably best enjoyed one by one – 17 tracks at once is a bit much.