WORDS / ASHTON ELEY
After half a year of labor, Travis Keymer released his latest EP, Lonesome, under White Mansion earlier this month.
Keymer – known locally as the guitarist for the surf-folk, rock ‘n’ roll band Teenagers – said he took an introspective look into the past, which inspired his six-song album. Now nearing 30, He recently started revisiting more shoegazey instrumental music – like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive and Explosions in the Sky – he loved to play around the age of 18.
“It kind of just happened,” he said. “I had been doing more electronic-heavy stuff, but it wasn’t me. I was trying too hard. And then the other day I sat back and listened to the songs that would be the Lonesome EP and thought, ‘this is totally right up my alley and is like who I am as a musician.’ And I just decided to release it.”
The album’s music is built on washed out layers upon layers that create ambient style, but it’s anything but unobtrusive – ear piercing is how Keymer himself describes it. They also seem to be both melancholic and catchy.
“I wasn’t putting a lot of pressure on it, which is cool because I kind of put a lot of pressure on myself most of the time to be proficient in music,” he said. “I work on music stuff about 15-20 hours a week… and that thing was kind of like my pass time, and I think that’s why it came together so well and flowed so nicely. You can hear that.”
He has been busy working towards his degree in civil engineering at the University of Arkansas, but Keymer plans to have the song ready to perform with other musicians, hopefully by March, he said.
While working a new full-length album with Teenagers, he also has another EP, comprised of less heavy and more instrumental songs that didn’t quite make it onto Lonesome, that he plans to release next month.