Rhythm Radar

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Radar Review: Keelan X – No Fall Of Rome

While the name Keelan X may sound fresh to your ears, you may be surprised to learn that the Irish musician was once part of the successful 90s indie-pop band, The Marigolds. As a co-founder and frontman, Keelan knows all too well what it’s like to be a part of the music industry.

But after his hard drive and laptop were stolen during the late noughties, which saw Keelan lose a year’s worth of material, he stepped away from the bright lights of music, until now.

After spending time writing new material and falling back in love with music, Keelan X has made a triumphant return with the release of his reflective single, No Fall to Rome. For fans of The National and Depeche Mode, the track is texturally rich with guitar-led atmospheric exploration and colourful retro-pop synth sounds. To complement his 70s and 80s pop-rock influences, Keelan’s lyricism is deep and emotive, with him exploring themes of civilisation, and how we as humans manage our lives.

He says of the track: “There’s a synergy between how you live and what you write…it’s inevitable. No Fall of Rome was born out of a fascination I have with both Rome and people’s journeys. Freud referred to the mind as being like Rome (in  Civilisation and its Discontents) with a long, rich past. It all begins in the mind and how you manage it. I’d seen people in different life-stages entertaining giving up on themselves a bit – letting their earlier hopes and dreams slip. I liked the metaphor of Rome and your life as having all the attributes of a city and hypothesising that there ain’t no fall of  Rome gonna happen on my watch.”

And after repeatedly listening to the track, it becomes distinctively apparent that Keelan’s return was well and truly the right thing for him to do. It’s a song you can imagine being played on a sunny afternoon on the main stage of a festival, drinking cold, refreshing pints with your friends in between slots from Supergrass or Peter Hook. 

It’s a catchy, feel-good song that is also poignant and insightful, and it’s a comeback record that Keelan X should be proud of.

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