Best known as the founding member of Moroccan electronic Gnawa band Electric Jalaba and the frontman of indie outfit Flying Ibex, Barnaby Keen has today (March 24) presented his debut solo single, 'Lay Our Cards'.
Having found writing for major label artists uninspiring, Keen has been collaborating with producer Oli Barton-Wood (Porridge Radio, Nilüfer Yanya, Mellah) for the past few years , who, he says, gave him a "kick up the arse" to get the track released.
Accompanied with a thought-provoking video, 'Lay Our Cards' fuses swirling Latin-inspired melodies with psychedelia and Dub that chronicles the rollercoaster of emotions of a relationship at melting point, cleverly suggested through metaphors.
The track started life as an old song Keen dusted off, which had been written over a "bagpipe-like drone", with his brother Nathaniel helping to transform it to its current form.
Keen said: “I find it gets me into an imaginative place where melodies flow easily.
‘Like you're staring at a flat ocean and then waves start appearing. You can hear the drone or pedal through all of the verses - it gives a kind of tension where the harmony is changing around it while it stays rooted."
The multi-instrumentalist and songwriter has released 'Lay Our Cards' on Barton-Wood's own Plum Cuts label.
He added: “Knowing that I’m sitting on lots of unreleased music, he decided to give me a kick up the arse to get it out.
“I’ve been involved in a lot of different musical projects over the past few years, so releasing my own songs kept being pushed to one side until now."
Stream 'Lay Our Cards' here.