If you write David Keenan’s story down and read it back to yourself it feels almost too good to be true. The Irish kid from a council estate in Dundalk, County Louth; who found an old Hofner guitar in his uncle’s cupboard. Who ran away as a teenager to busk on the streets of Liverpool in search of his songwriting hero, The La’s lost mystic Lee Mavers. Who got discovered when a taxi driver filmed him singing a song he wrote when he was only 15 on the back seat. Who, even after the international success of last year’s stunning debut "A Beginner’s Guide To Bravery” still managed to move to Paris as artist in residence and get a book of poetry published.
Though it’s little over a year since his debut album came out, Keenan’s songwriting has developed at a light-speed pace. These songs aren’t so much linear narratives as they are cubist paintings, each line and each track providing a different facet, a different view point and a different picture of the human condition.
Though it’s loosely presented through the prism of one man and his experiences, all life really is here. By the end “WHAT THEN?” has answered its own question then asked it again, this time hungry for whatever the next chapter of the story might bring.
What that will be remains to be seen, but with this album Keenan has delivered a series of songs with more richness, power and character than anything to be found coming off a screenwriter’s typewriter. It’s a piece of art that you can truly lose yourself in.