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65: KEYSIDE are back with brand new EP 'NIKITA'...

If you've been keeping an eye on the bubbling scene of Liverpool's indie-rock scene for a while now, you'll be no strangers to Dan, Ben, Oisin and Max - the four faces behind Keyside. Born out of roaring guitar hooks and sharp-edged lyricism, this homegrown cluster of talent have graced the stages of Isle of Wight, Eurovision Main Stage and supported the likes of Jamie Webster, Seb Lowe and Shed Seven in the past, and 2024 sees the rise of Keyside's revolution with brand new EP 'Nikita'. Four tracks packed with energy, grit and a whole lot of nostalgia - let's dig into each song track by track:


Track One: 'Nikita'

'a vibrant panorama of feel-good fizz'

The title track to the exhilarating journey ahead, 'Nikita' oozes everything we love about the indie-pop quartet; everything from the inviting guitar hook entry to the harrowing lyrics drawing you in the second you hit play on this EP. Reflecting on a turbulent narrative of watching someone spiral into addiction and abandonment, lead singer Dan's heartachingly raw vocal performance takes you through the knock-on effects of loneliness and longing with poignant messages woven into it's lyrics and an enticing melody that's become synonymous to Keyside's sound in recent releases. Wrapped around a vibrant panorama of feel-good fizz, let nostalgia transport you to your first glimpse of grassroots venues and lukewarm beer cans within the track's honey-soaked distortion and raucous drums. In less than 2 and a half minutes, you capture every essence of Keyside in 'Nikita', every corner of the track swarming with magnetism and an irresistible upbeat aura.

Track Two: 'Angeline'

'an unapologetically anthemic track'

After hearing 'Angeline' as the first single from this collection of work back in 2023, I've had it's sweet-spot riffs engrained in my brain: and it's safe to say that the song hits even harder as part of the full 2024 EP. After exploring the unsettled life of 'Nikita', we reflect on the battles of a woman balancing home life with old habits in this unapologetically anthemic track - it's infectious shuffle feel and Ben's Smiths-esque guitar lines making it impossible to keep your feet still. With a visceral middle eight section and built-for-the-main-stage vocal chant to end the track, this shimmer-layered track is a core moment within the EP as a whole. After years of touring and heavy grafting under their belt, you can hear the hustle of the band in this driving force of a track - the perfect soundtrack to blare through your car speakers as you head to a sun-soaked festival this summer.

Track Three: 'Down My Way'

'nostalgic enough for you to raise a glass to good times'

After the explosive 'Angeline', soak into the sun-rays of 'Down My Way': drowned in a laid-back groove and light-hearted melodies from start to finish. Bringing the likes of The Coral and The La's to our modern-day radar, this radiant track isn't short of a bright three part vocal harmony or jangly shimmer of a guitar line - perfect for these optimistic Spring days we're about to approach. Full of hope and indie-pop cheer, 'Down My Way' is a welcome burst of positivity after the troubled lyricism in the previous two tracks; nostalgic enough for you to raise a glass to good times, but still offering up fresh perspective to the current state of the world. With many festivals in the pipeline for the band (Sound City, On the Waterfront and Cosmic Cape to name a few), you can imagine a bucket-hat wearing, muddy boots scene whilst indulging in this sticky-sweet track - nothing but sunshine ahead.

Track Four: 'Turn Back The Time'

'a beautifully haunting reflection on life'

A beautifully haunting reflection on life, 'Turn Back The Time' is a sentimental ending to the four track EP, leaving no stone unturned with introverted lyricism and memories of easier times. The most vulnerable track in the collection, you long for childhood simplicities and a peaceful society after being mesmerised by the soulful vocal performance from Dan; warped guitar countermelodies a past memory fading away in the distance. A harrowing bridge section builds up the anxieties and worries of growing up and facing the world's conflicts, before a final chorus oozes melancholy and emotion for the final few moments of the EP. Perfectly placed at the end of the record, 'Turn Back The Time' puts the former three tracks into perspective: from the feelings of abandonment in 'Nikita', to a conflicted 'Angeline' and easy listening 'Down My Way', all we ever want is what we can no longer have.


Check out the EP in full down below, and if you're a fan of Keyside's tunes, you can catch them live this Spring! Here are some upcoming live dates to pop in your diary:

  • 23 March 2024 - Arts Club Loft, Liverpool

  • 4 April 2024 – Yes (Basement), Manchester

Review No. 65

by Meg Shaw, Local & Live Media

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