Dublin’s Keeley previews ‘Never Here Always There’ ahead of debut Brave Warrior EP
Not long after announcing Keeley as the latest addition to its roster, London label Dimple Discs presents the new single from this Dublin-based psychedelic dreampop outfit. The Peckham indie label has deep Irish music connections, founded in 2018 by Damian O’Neill of The Undertones and Brian O’Neill. Initially as a vehicle for Damian’s solo projects, it has grown to encompass such artists as The Undertones, Cathal Coughlan, Kev Hopper, Eileen Gogan, Dragon Welding, Nick Haeffner and Baby Shakes with forthcoming archive material from Microdisney and Fatima Mansions.
The band’s forthcomingBrave Warrior EPdemonstrates the multi-faceted songwriting smarts of one of Ireland’s most talked-about emerging bands, ranging from this upbeat lead track to more spacey, darkly-dreamy electronic offerings, drenched in drama and soaked in sadness. Keeley pursues an unusual conceptual thread, conceived several years ago, focusing on German tourist Inga Maria Hauser, whose murder in Northern Ireland in 1988 remains unsolved.
This is the first release for the label since the critically acclaimed new album from Cathal Coughlan (The Fatima Mansions, Microdisney). Hailing from Dublin and fronted by vocalist and guitarist Keeley, the band includes Marty Canavan on keyboards, Martin Fagan on bass and Pete Duff on drums. This four-track collection was produced and engineered by Alan Maguire, who mixed it together with Keeley, and mastered by Anthony Chapman (Franz Ferdinand, DEVO, Cathal Coughlan, Jesus Jones, Wolfhounds).
Keely explains the inspiration behind this song:
“Never Here Always There’ is a very unusual song in that the writing of it was inspired by my seeing a brief snippet of footage from a TV programme, specifically a 2005 episode of the long-running TV series Crimewatch UK, that featured a new appeal into the 1988 murder of German tourist Inga Maria Hauser in Northern Ireland, a case that the show had first featured back in 1988. Inga’s case is unique in the annals of true crime history. It is the only instance of a sexually motivated murder of a tourist in Northern Ireland ever. In 1988, it was the first case of its kind. Remarkably, in 2021, 33 years on, it remains the only case of its kind.
Inga Maria Hauser was an 18-year-old grammar school student, artist and musician from Munich, Germany who was on a sightseeing trip of the UK and Ireland, her first trip away from home without her parents. Inga had barely set foot on the island of Ireland before she was the subject of what police have described as “a vicious, ruthless assault”. She was sexually assaulted and murdered in a way that was deeply disturbing, with a ferocious and totally excessive use of force deployed by her killers who subsequently discarded her remains and ‘staged’ her crime scene in a breathtakingly callous (and downright odd) manner. In 2016 I chanced upon the story of Inga’s case and became so moved and fascinated by her and her story that it changed the course of my life. It is both the saddest and the scariest story I have ever known.
That same year I was inspired to set up a website called ‘The Keeley Chronicles’ on which I’ve been publishing the only extensive blog on Inga’s case. The blog went viral from it’s first day online, and over the last five years I have continued writing, blogging and campaigning publicly on Inga’s behalf, something which has become the central focus of my life. Also, as a songwriter and artist, every song I have written for the past five years has been about Inga. I am currently working on a concept album about Inga’s life and the story of the case. My debut EP Brave Warrior consists of four songs, all of which are about Inga in one way or another. Incidentally this is something completely unprecedented in music. There has never been an album of songs written about a murder victim, let alone an entire body of work. I have resolved to never write about any other subject, reflecting my belief that this is the most important subject ever.”
For the past five years, the band’s frontwoman and songwriter Keeley has been publishing a blog with a devoted global following – – documenting the many facets of this unique, harrowing and mystifying case, correcting the falsely published details of Inga’s life and piecing together what really happened in the final days on her trip. By working in close quarters with Northern Irish police, senior politicians and Inga’s legal representatives in Northern Ireland in concerted efforts to advance and resolve this notorious case, she is keeping the memory of this beautiful and mysterious soul alive.
In October 2020, Keeley released the debut single ‘Last Words’, topping Newstalk FM’s airplay chart, getting playlisted by RTE Radio 1 and 8Radio, and attracting support from radio in multiple countries. Picked by legendary broadcaster Tom Dunne as one of his ‘Top Tracks of 2020’, it was listed at #12 in Radio Nova’s ’Top 15 Irish Songs of 2020’ and, upon its release, she became the subject of full-page articles in the Belfast Telegraph and Derry Post newspapers, a frankly unheard-of feat for an indie artist on their debut single. The band followed with the psychedelic ‘The Glitter and the Glue’, the shortest, fastest and most ecstatic explosion of energy now receiving support from Newstalk FM, Radio Nova, 98FM and has now been added to the playlists of Dublin City FM, KCLR 96FM and 8Radio.
Keeley – Vocals & Guitars
Alan Maguire – Keyboards & Programming
All songs written by Keeley, except ‘You Never Made It That Far’ by Keeley/Kiang
All songs published by Copyright Control
Recorded, produced & engineered by Alan Maguire in Portebello, Dublin
Mixed by Alan Maguire & Keeley
Mastering by Anthony Chapman, London
Front & rear cover artwork by Maaike van Liempt
All photography & inner sleeve artwork by Keeley
Keeley logo – Design: Gav Icon Hodgins. Idea: Keeley
Layout by Bruce Brand at Arthole, London
This record is dedicated to the memory of Inga Maria Hauser – the bravest warrior (1969-1988)