Kean Kavangh is building his own world one brick at a time.
The dazzingly inventive co-founder of Soft Boy Records, he's drawn others into his orbit, pursuing a unique sound in the process.
Fresh from a collaboration with Kojaque, he finds solo focus on his brand new 10 track project 'Dog Person'.
Out now, it blends R&B song structures with hip-hop beats and even the odd slice of indie melodies, all sluiced into something wholly idiosyncratic.
He comments: “Before any of the songs were written I knew I was going to call the album ‘Dog Person’... That just cracked me up. It was funny to think of this demented half-dog, half-person… But then that led me to this character, this shittier version of myself. The procrastinating side of me. The side of me out drinking to get away from that. I liked the idea of that duality, that Jekyll & Hyde situation.”
Here, Kean breaks down 'Dog Person' track by track.
- - -
These kids were being so funny on my bus home from town, they had the whole bus in stitches. Luckily I had a little zoom mic with me and I managed to record some of it; got home and I made this instrumental that I think sets up the rest of the project.
This song is about when you start drinking and then you are not able to stop drinking. Produced by me and the wonderful Brian Fallon.
- - -
- - -
The voice from this comes from a video I was shown on Youtube that seems to have disappeared. I have never laughed so much it’s so fucking funny.
Once the project started coming together I could see how what he was saying would fit with everything else. That’s Oisín Murtagh playing sax at the outro.
These lyrics and this tune kind of comes from a place where I was not all too happy with myself and thought of myself as a lazy and unproductive bastard. Pushing through and finishing helped me to move past that idea.
That’s Peter Brien playing piano and those synths chords in the last chorus that remind me of 'Everybody Wants To Rule The World' by Tears for Fears.
- - -
- - -
Coca Cola Sky This tune has been out a while now but I felt like it fit with the rest of the project. The words from the chorus come from a line I loved in 'Skintown' by Ciaran McMenamin. Funniest book I’ve ever read. Shout out to Wastefellow on the mix here; he mixed the majority of the rest of this project as well and is a genius boy.
- - -
- - -
'EMMA' is the only tune I didn’t produce on the project and might be my favourite. What does that tell you? I had to spend the least amount of time slaving over it; Pete had the instrumental and I had most of the lyrics from an old song. If gigs were possible at the moment I would be most looking forward to playing this song.
I’m pretty sure I wrote the lyrics to this on my phone at a football match in O’Moore Park in Laois feeling groggy. I can’t remember how to play the guitar part, my housemate had detuned my guitar and I was messing with it.
I love the part of Phoenix that runs from Wellington Monument past the Magazine Fort and on further. This song is set there; it’s the only place close to me where you can see Dublin from a height.
This is definitely the oldest song here.
The lyrics are partly inspired by Flann O’Brien’s poem The Workman’s Friend, except instead of the pint of plain I’m extolling the virtues of a good nap. I was listening to so much Shuggie Otis when I was making this so the name is a tribute to him.
One of the last tracks that I wrote and I knew it would the closer. I had made the beat and it was a sunny day in the Spring and despite the recent lockdown at the time and everything feeling apocalyptic, I was just having a beautiful day and wanted to be present in that and write a song so I could remember.
- - -
'Dog Person' is out now.
Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.