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Clay Joule - Keep On (Truwan Studio)

7 September 2023

There is always a deep and meaningful message in the music that Clay Joule makes, and “Keep On” is no exception. But sometimes, that meaning goes deeper than you might realise. A first listen of this latest release will reveal that this is a song of empowerment, a reminder that you are in control and that your destiny lies wherever you decide.

But dig a little deeper, and more is revealed, especially when these succinct and poignant words are placed alongside the video’s images. When faced with the triple assault of powerfully charged lyrics, subtle (and occasionally not so subtle) visuals and soaring music, much more becomes clear to us, the listeners.

Many teachings, especially those in the mainstream orthodoxy, will tell you that the only way to find god is through their good grace. “Keep On” reminds us of the fallacy of this path, its lack of genuine conviction, and its earthly failing. The song explains that you have always known god, that he is everywhere, and that you have been in a dialogue with him since birth. You don’t need a self-appointed gatekeeper to show you the way – love yourself, be truthful to yourself, be brave and then your path to destiny will be there for the taking, laid out before you.

Although Clay Joule wears his faith openly on his sleeve, this is not just a message for those on the same path. Whatever you believe in, this message is one that any and all can and should relate to. Life is short; grasp it with both hands.

As always, the depth of the lyricism is matched by the deftness of the music. Rising from a late-night jazz bar vibe, all muted trumpets and tinkling piano; it soon gets into a gentle jazz-funk swing, understated enough to let the vocals take the spotlight but full of intricate and interlocking instrumentation. The drums are unfussy and perfectly to the point, the bass punctuates and pulses with poise and purpose, and the piano scatters sonic sweetness throughout. And when extra drive and sonic weight are needed, it is to the brass section that he calls rather than the standard guitar attack.

Music can be mere entertainment. Music can be informative. Music can be profound. Music can be fun. It is rare that a song is all of those things, but Clay Joule has a way of appealing to each musical sector and, in doing so, a broad audience. And it is always great when a song makes you think, makes you feel, and gives you something to ponder long after the last notes have faded away. “Keep On” does that, too.

It reminds us that the more reliance on profit, the more false the prophet. It reminds us that your destiny has always been there before you and that one person’s heresy is another’s freedom. Embrace life. Don’t stop. Keep on keeping on!