Minneapolis Singer/Songwriter Pat Keen Breathes Hypnotic Energy into “Torch”

Pat Keen © Jesse Johnson
Midwestern singer/songwriter Pat Keen’s “Torch” takes listeners on a mesmerizing adventure bristling with pulsing patterns, bright Americana licks, and turbulent emotions.
for fans of Will Graefe, Fleet Foxes, Peter Stone, Estes
Stream: “Torch” – Pat Keen

Look what I have found always looking down…

Pat Keen’s experimental folk music feels tailor-made for adventure: Light, lilting, and a little eccentric, the Minneapolis singer/songwriter is unafraid to not only be himself, but also get outside the box. While it may not be the kind of journey you would naturally expect, the singer/songwriter’s new song “Torch” takes listeners on a mesmerizing adventure bristling with pulsing patterns, bright Americana licks, and turbulent emotions.

Cells Remain - Pat Keen

Cells Remain – Pat Keen

In lieu of reign,
I wander off.
Squander has came
through my front door.
Will things always be okay,
sealing what will be disarray?

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Torch,” the sophomore single off Pat Keen’s second album Cells Remain, out August 21 via Birdwatcher Records. With roots in jazz and folk, the Minneapolis-based singer/songwriter/guitarist first introduced himself in 2015, releasing his debut album Albatross two years later. Soft, sweet, and often rather minimalist, Keen’s work stands out as holding true unto itself: Songs often lack resolutions, or present themselves with uncommon rhythmic patterns and melodic structures.

Keen’s artistic growth is inherently obvious on Cells Remain‘s lead single “Cell Song,” released earlier this year, and he continues to show his multidisciplinary evolution within the hypnotic folds of “Torch.” Driven by a seductive acoustic guitar pattern that, the song finds Keen delving into his own psyche – uncovering scrapes of the past that wrestle with the present.

Love carries on,
torching the ground,
littering on and off.
who cares what’s bound?
Things will always be okay,
sealing my being from dismay.

“In some capacity, I believe that all art is a way for an artist to vent,” Keen tell Atwood Magazine. “‘Torch’ speaks to that idea, embracing a lack of inner self control while highlighting a sense of awareness through it all. It meanders through the life I’ve led so far as a scatterbrained creative that was “diagnosed with ADHD at a young age” (That’s right, I’ve got the H!)”

The artist continues, “Like many of my songs, they end up being about various things, a lot of the time pertaining to the same message in the end. In addition, ‘Torch’ reflects upon how my relationships (not just romantic) have shaped who I am today. Through thick and thin, hard and easy, I’m convinced that it all matters over the course of life in some way. This song is an attempt at zooming out to try and see all that, with a realistic tinge of self doubt.”

This song is an attempt at zooming out to try and see all that, with a realistic tinge of self doubt.

Pat Keen © Jesse Johnson

Pat Keen © Jesse Johnson

Look what I have found
always looking down.

An enchanting sonic ride, “Torch” is unassuming in its build and humble in its lyricism. The artist employs a sort of A-B-A-B song structure, he doesn’t necessarily treat these sections as traditional verse and chorus; rather, his work feels like one long drawn-out thought – an experience which he is undergoing at the same time that we hear him go through it. By the time he comes to an uncertain conclusion (“Look what I have found, always looking down,”) we too feel a sense of restlessness – almost anxiety – about who we are, and who we’re trying to be.

And yet, “Torch” is nothing if not a calm and soothing listen. Fans of Fleet Foxes and other experimental folk acts will appreciate Keen’s left-of-center structures and the unique artistic voice he brings to the table. Stream the artist’s new single exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stay tuned for more new music from Keen in the coming months: His album Cells Remain is out August 21.

Editor’s Note: Pat Keen is donating his share of pre-order revenue to Juxtaposition Arts, “a non-profit youth art and design education center, gallery, retail shop, and artists’ studio space in North Minneapolis.”
Stream: “Torch” – Pat Keen

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Cells Remain - Pat Keen

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com