Keon Masters’s debut solo album showcases a maturing artist
Former Brave Baby frontman and guitarist Keon Masters debuted his first solo album (inset above), Many Thanks, in October. He’s performing on New Year’s Eve at Charleston Music Hall.
Keon Masters has been notably quiet in the nearly two years since his indie-rock band, Brave Baby—known for its devoted local fan base and moody, psychedelic sound—decided to put the project on hold. But that doesn’t mean the former frontman and guitarist has been idle. Masters got married and recently released his debut solo effort, Many Thanks, which shows him maturing as an artist.
Masters admits that at first, writing songs on his own was a daunting task for someone who thrived on Brave Baby’s collaborative energy. “I was always good at coming up with song ideas and vibes, but I had a hard time finishing them,” he explains. He had a breakthrough when he completed his first song and realized, “Hey, I can do this.”
On Many Thanks, Masters hews close to his laid-back, airy sensibilities that garnered him popularity with Brave Baby, but with more self-aware lyrics and a brighter and more synth-infused sound.
The first track, “3 Of the City,” features a bouncy tempo that belies the song’s more serious lyrics about what it takes to maintain a relationship. On the reggae-infused “Got 2 Luv It,” Masters meditates on his transition from local rock star to domesticated man, singing, “Filling the void of the boys in the band/Walking the dog, a bag of shit in your hand/Claiming the whole town just like you used to/Got to love it.”
Many Thanks reflects Masters’s life transitions—a man who is closer to 40 than 20, experiencing domestic bliss yet still yearning for the wild days of his younger years. It’s been a “rude awakening,” Keon says. “People are looking around at you, and they’re saying, ‘You’re married, and you’re still serving beers and trying to make art?’”
He needn’t worry; his first solo venture shows he can make music every bit as engaging and beautiful alone as he did with a band. Listen for yourself on New Year’s Eve when Masters plays Charleston Music Hall with The Artisanals and Babe Club.