Keen Garrity is the stage name of Knoxville, Tennessee native, Rebekah Burchfield, whose debut album Get Big dropped earlier this year. An ex-member of the prog rock outfit Wards of the Mayor, she’s now following in the footsteps of previous Burchfields by pursuing a country direction.
The new release acts as a book of tales with colourful characters, and their stories form the overarching theme of conquering life’s greatest personal challenges. Across eight tracks, Keen Garrity melds her unique vocal and instrumental approach into a narrative that emphasises the importance of self-worth and defining one’s character.
‘Shotgun’ kicks off the album and it’s easily one of her best efforts. Guided by a jangly pop-rock backing and upbeat tempo, she reflects on feeling torn over the prospect of new romance versus the pain and fear that hold her back from sinking into a new experience. The lyrics compare the feeling to a dark twin who leeches off her energy and refuses to let go, resulting in the failure of the relationship.
‘Broken One’ explores two characters who are united through mutual suffering, supported by an indie-pop style soft melancholy that exudes resignation. The title track is a redemptive piece, however, featuring a bold and vibrant female character with grand ambitions backed up by stomping riffs and rhythms, powerful chords, and a piercing melody that hammers down her nature.
‘Gold Digger’ takes an about turn with a Wild West adventure featuring her doppelganger—an antiheroine living out the lone wolf lifestyle in the wilderness. The piece has a cinematic feel reminiscent of classic movies in this vein—it succeeds in acting as an homage without falling into cheese territory. ‘What You Put In It’ is a driving piece marked with sharp shifting chords and earthy, pining vocals from Garrity, lyrically capturing the struggle and endurance required of every life.
Tying up the record is the more upbeat ‘Statuesque’ which uses the metaphor of a statue to warn us about never becoming complacent about the inevitability of change—what might start as a majestic construct full of pride and ego will decay in the end. Instrumentally, the flair of magnetic rock riffs over a pop base shows Garrity’s ability to branch out as needed.
Overall, Get Big is a showcase of how resourceful a musician Keen Garrity is, and more importantly, her talent as a storyteller with a well-honed concept of where the moral of the tale truly lies. There’s abundant life experience, humility, grace, strength, and compassion to be found in her lyrics, and this high-concept narrative journey is ultimately a statement of self using wild characters as a vehicle of delivery.