Catch Myra Keyes’ Surprising Sophomore Release – Flower in the Brick

Catch Myra Keyes’ Surprising Sophomore Release – Flower in the Brick

Flower in the Brick is a surprise in the best way possible. And as the listener takes a deeper dive into the artist, the lyrics, the composition and the process, it only strengthens the feeling that Myra Keyes is someone that deserves your attention and has a long career ahead of herself.

Seemingly born in the wrong decade and with a wisdom to match, Myra Keyes is an artist that has me asking, “Where did this girl come from?!” With musical tendencies that reflect strong female vocal acts of the nineties like The Cranberries or Liz Phair, as well as similarly complex and poetic lyrics, her sophomore release (and debut full-length album) is something to behold, and a fresh take on the alt-rock I grew up hearing on the radio. Her choice in sound is apparent right from the start, with “Powder Blue” coming in with subtle electric guitars before it builds to a confident groove that has something to say. The vocals are crisp without too much processing or reverb (rare these days), allowing Keyes’ unique and mature voice to take center stage.

the rain fell down in powder blue
obsession so addictive it grew
soft to touch and hard to not think about
a thousand lies hide all around
our own are nowhere to be found
look down
surround

“Powder Blue”

You’ll find color a prominent theme in Keyes’ music, as she has synesthesia, causing her to experience multiple senses at once. “I tried to write and produce every song to be a different color…The moods of the songs are reflected in both the music and the lyrics. Cohesion is important to me…Lyrics need to match the energy of the music, I think.”

“Wilt” continues that nineties alternative rock styling, featuring beautiful and complex instrumental breaks between lyrics. Dynamically, this entire album has a lovely flow to it, with ups and downs both within each song as well as over the album as a whole. The composition is always surprising though, again highlighting Keyes’ maturity as a songwriter. Having played guitar, bass and keyboards on the record (as well as laying down the vocals and harmonies), Myra Keyes is a real powerhouse player, as so many of these tracks contain complicated pairings between the electric guitar and bass guitar.

almost living
almost dead
stuck between the blue and red
beyond their front i swallowed all the shit they said
it’s good that they don’t know what’s in my head

“Wilt”

All of this adds up to what is perhaps the most surprising part of this whole record: Myra Keyes is still very young! Some of these songs were written during a busier-than-most high school career, with others penned in college, where Keyes is currently studying. “I knew, after Girl, that I wanted to do a full album next. I had material and I was antsy to record again, so I went back in with Kendra at Jackpot! and got to it pretty quick,” says Keyes, who finished Flower in the Brick while simultaneously juggling AP high school courses, graduating with honors, applying to colleges, working a summer job, and eventually heading to university in Chicago in the fall of 2023 to study business (hopefully with an emphasis in music business to manage her own, no doubt, prolific career).

After the downtempo “Stale,” which sparse composition allows her deep vocals to shine, the album picks up in intensity to an almost anxious level with “Clubs,” the first single off the record. This one fades out in a surprise ending that causes the listener to take note (and in my case, rewind the track) just to catch those last lyrics: “my dreams are mud, pale next to reality underneath.”

With more room to raise the bar, “MME” takes it up a notch in an upbeat vibe without delving too much in the pop realm. Still, it’s a real bop with a little punk rock mixed in, alongside some lyrics that remind me of Olivia Rodrigo — though I wouldn’t compare the two overtly, as Keyes’ sound has a real depth and maturity not found in today’s pop music.

take a minute
don’t make a mess of me
i want my demise to be kinda pretty

“MME”

“We had so much fun making Brick, which feels bigger, sonically, than anything I’ve done,” Keyes says. “I couldn’t have made this record without the experience of recording Girl and working with Kendra (Lynn, co-producer and engineer). The new album is pretty pop-driven and positive, less shoegazey, though you still get that stuff in a few spots.” That valley of dynamics is felt heavily on “The Viewpoint,” which perhaps carries the most emotion of any track on the album, accented by layered harmonies and an abrupt end that, again, surprised me.

Also featured on the album are Joe Mengis on drums and Anna Fritz on cello. “Going in, I knew this record needed to have drums. I don’t play drums, so I was on the lookout for someone who could come into the studio and smash it. Kendra recommended Joe Mengis of the band Eels, and boy, he did just that. I also had Anna Fritz of Portland Cello Project play on the last track. Her cello part is one of the highlights of the album for me. And Joe’s drumming, my goodness.”

And the drums don’t disappoint! “Skylight” brings the album to another place with a garage band punk — nearly ska! — feel. But instead of horn blasts, the drums take the stage with breakdowns and downtempo sections that surprise and carry the song along without ever overshadowing Myra’s vocals.

but something in the water makes me feel alive
so pearl and pink inside
something in the water amplifies my cry
a girl and honey and fire

“Skylight”

On the whole, Flower in the Brick is a surprise in the best way possible. And as the listener takes a deeper dive into the artist, the lyrics, the composition and the process, it only strengthens the feeling that Myra Keyes is someone that deserves your attention and has a long career ahead of herself.

You can catch Myra Keyes wherever you listen to music (Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, Amazon) and follow her on Instagram and TikTok.

Posts Carousel

Latest Posts

Top Authors

Most Commented

Featured Videos