Steeped in unease and constructed in an unprecedented time, Keeper E.’s new collection of songs comprises a portrait of an anxious existence that’s as deeply worried as it is catchy against all odds.

thank u and please and don’t go is packed with a litany of one-line worries and shame spirals:

“I’m always driving in somebody’s blind spot, thinking I’m going to crash”; “I never know expressions and I’m so embarrassing”; “Who will take care of me if I take care of you?” The stress reaches its apex on “What If We Lose Everything,” a mid-tempo climate-change lament scattered through with unsettling dissonant notes: “There’s no way to go back,” she concludes, with considerable disappointment.

Glittering with silvery vocals, playful synths and driving rhythms, Keeper E. invites us into a dreamlike world inside her mind, sharing pages of her journal combined with intriguing melodies. Her songs have a romanticized hopefulness, looking back on past loves, regrets, and fearfulness with gratitude and hope.

Speaking on the focus track, “My Favourite Song”, is about hoping that singing along to your favourite song will take away all the pain and suffering in the world. It’s kind of a joke, like obviously just listening to a song won’t solve anything, but also it’s been my experience that sometimes music is all that can help you out of a hard time. This song talks about personal hardships like not feeling satisfied and always expecting the worst, and it also talks about the unfair power balances in the world and how the life I have is built on these unfair societal structures. In the end, it feels like the anthem of the song convinces you in some way that singing along to your favourite song must in some way help to balance things out, and will always make you feel better.“

Keeper E. is proving herself one of the most exciting new pop acts from Atlantic Canada, with an official showcase at The Great Escape in Brighton and tour dates across Canada planned in support of the release of her sophomore EP, thank you and please and don’t go, out now.

But for all the personal anxieties explored in these songs, Elwood’s music is at its most confident, deeply thoughtful and wise beyond its lived experience. Born in Nova Scotia, Elwood began playing the violin at three years old, moved onto piano by four, and found her own musical voice while in university studying classical piano. Though she claims to be a technological Luddite, her production skills rival any hitmaker, and she crafts the indie-pop base of Keeper E. in solitude, with little outside influence.

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