In following progressive genres and artists, it's always interesting to see similar movements happening in totally different arenas. As we dwell in a time when acts like FKA Twigs and Kelela can breathe life into diverse arrays of electronic sound, it's dope to see a group of vocalists completely outside of their respective scenes doing the same thing, if not going a bit deeper. The women behind Keeper are just that group.
It's also rare that one hears a trio of singers getting together on a track, let alone always creating in a group mindstate. Keeper's an Austin, Texas collective that's been doing the damn thing for some time, and have linked up with a fellow Texan MoonDoctoR to create a versatile record, Moonhigh. Dropping soon on MoonDoctoR's Freshmoon imprint, it not only shows the broad spectrum of electronic beats MoonDoctoR can create, but how intriguing this trio can make these tracks feel. This isn't a random collection of one-verse odes to enlightenment over heavyweight drops; these are fully-realized songs that should make the way people look at singing over electronic tracks differently.
With the album's new single "Next to Me" out today, we decided to bring you the full experience, and get to know Keeper, the Moonhigh album, and their work with MoonDoctoR a bit more.
Keeper's a trio out of Austin, right? Talk to us about how you three came to be a group.
Yes, Keeper is a vocal trio based in Austin. We became friends, as a group, in 2009 during a sweaty summer of dancing. We bonded over our mutual love of R&B and writing three-part harmonies and after a few years of working in other projects we decided that we wanted to focus on creating music that we were passionate about on our own terms.
I know MoonDoctoR lives in San Antonio, but how did you three link with him initially, and what was it about your shared interests that turned into "let's work on a fire album?"
We met MoonDoctoR when we were releasing our first single "Bad Doctor." We did a remix contest and were introduced to him through a close friend who recommended that we ask him to remix the track. Once we started to get to know each other, we discussed maybe working on a song or two, but once we started we were all having too much fun to stop.
Having gone through Moonhigh, I definitely like the balance between the harmonies and the skittery electronic patterns. In the time of Tinashe, Kelela, and FKA Twigs, it feels like the evolution of a sound that's resonating. What sets Moonhigh apart from everything else that's out there?
We feel like we have the advantage of three distinct voices and three different perspectives toward a cohesive thought. From the start of this project we wanted to be able to write to beats that we connected to, regardless of the style, because we are all inspired by many different genres of music. MoonDoctoR has such a broad musical perspective that we were able to delve into multiple electronic sub-genres with one producer while representing a collaborative, rather than solo, approach to writing an album.
Why Moonhigh? That some play on your producer and what you four might've been engaging in in the studio?
Yes. 🌲. Ok, but really, it’s kinda coincidental that we happened to be working with MoonDoctoR because as we were writing this album, we noticed that a lot of really powerful things were occurring in our lives around the cycles of the moon. Because what we write is fairly personal, the songs reflect what was happening in the sky.
Finally, we see a lot of solo vocalists engaging with the electronic world, but I can't recall there being another trio TLCing these future bass tracks. Are there set roles within Keeper, where say one of you comes up with the hook while another is working on different lyrics or melodies, or is it a true collective effort?
Both. We write when we feel inspired and we also really enjoy writing together, so if we are able to write together we do, but if one person happens to be feeling a certain beat and wants to create something, we strongly encourage that. we really trust each others voice enough to make something that will be representative of the group.