Troubadour Thomas Keating has announced his introverted new single Today I'm Staying Home, a comforting ode to self-care during times of stress and uncertainty, out February 1 Thomas has also announced a lovely clip to accompany the track, filmed during the recording process of the single, offering rare insight into the private world of an artist in the studio. Thomas will be celebrating the release of the single with launch gigs in Sydney at The Newsagency on February 8, and Melbourne at Red Betty on February 9. To cap it off, Thomas has also been announced as the main support act on a very special run of NSW shows with one of Australia's most loved songwriters, Pete Murray, kicking off at Bateman's Bay Soldier's Club on January 16, then moving though Merimbula, Narrabeen, Newcastle, Miranda, and wrapping up in Wollongong at Waves on February 2.
As vulnerable and open as a diary entry, Today I'm Staying Home is musically reminiscent of Matt Corby's acoustic textures, or even Vance Joy's vivid lyrical imagery – yet Thomas still manages to craft a world that's completely his own. Gentle guitar pulses atop a bed of driving percussion, as Thomas' one-of-a-kind vocals take centrestage. Thrilled to be releasing this special track, Thomas explains the inspiration behind the track, "Today I'm Staying Home is inspired by one of those mornings where you wake up with the 'f*ck its', and you decide instead of leaving your bed or home to face your life and all the responsibilities that come with being an adult in this world, you just stay in. I've always struggled with bouts of depression and anxiety around the uncertainties and pressures of everyday life, and I guess at the time I wrote the song I was going through such a phase. I think it's important to remember that at times it's okay just to feel like shit - it's okay to put your hand up and say 'I'm not dealing with this very well. I need help'. Mental health is extremely self-alienating, and I'd like to think that we are moving past the stigma of shame that has hung around such ailments for far too long."
The clip for Today I'm Staying Home feels like a private performance, straight from the artist to the listener. The studio is warm, and there's something refreshing about seeing Thomas is his element, skillfully and candidly playing guitar, singing the track and listening back to his work. Describing the reason for the studio-centric clip, Thomas explains, "I've always struggled with being comfortable shooting typical music videos, you know, pretending to sing into the camera as the song plays, for example. So we just decided to bring the cameras and lighting into the recording sessions, and my friend Kieran Gilfeather shot and directed it for us over a couple of days. He followed the band and myself around the studio as we put the song together, so the clip is real – what you are seeing is actual takes of us putting the song down. It was such a comfortable way to make a video."
In light of the new single, Thomas is set to wow audiences with two very special, very intimate headline shows in February, and an exclusive run of solo shows alongside Pete Murray in NSW. "I've worked really hard on the live show this year and I'm really happy with where it's at," enthuses Thomas. "From a young age I was really inspired by the type of guitar playing made popular by Chet Atkins, Tommy Emmanuel and Mark Knopfler…I like to do solo sets and also playing with the band. Both have their challenges. A lot of time and effort goes into creating even just one song, so having the opportunity to share your efforts with others is really something special. It feels fantastic to be releasing new music."
Thomas Keating Shows Jan/Feb 2019
WED JANUARY 16 | BATEMANS BAY SOLDIERS CLUB, BATEMANS BAY, NSW | 18+ *WITH PETE MURRAY
THURS JANUARY 17 | CLUB SAPPHIRE, MERIMBULA, NSW | 18+ *WITH PETE MURRAY
WED JANUARY 30 | NARRABEEN RSL, NARRABEEN, NSW | 18+ *WITH PETE MURRAY
THURS JANUARY 31 | HONEYSUCKLE HOTEL, NEWCASTLE, NSW | 18+ *WITH PETE MURRAY
FRI FEBRUARY 1 | MIRANDA HOTEL, MIRANDA, NSW | 18+ *WITH PETE MURRAY
SAT FEBRUARY 2 | WAVES, WOLLONGONG, NSW | 18+ *WITH PETE MURRAY
Tickets available from https://www.petemurray.com/
FRI FEBRUARY 8 | THE NEWSAGENCY, SYDNEY | 18+
SAT FEBRUARY 9 | RED BETTY, MELBOURNE | 18+
Tickets available from https://www.stickytickets.com.au/79155/thomas_keating.aspx
Question: How would you describe your music?
Thomas Keating: I would describe my music as: soul/folk/rock and I would also say it is pretty emo.
Question: What inspired the song Today I'm Staying Home?
Thomas Keating: When I wrote Today I'm Staying I was feeling pretty low, I was having a lay in and feeling pretty down about myself and the fact that I wasn't doing anything productive with my time. But I decided it was time to stop beating myself up and that I had really unrealistic expectations of myself. I can't always be firing you know and I decided that that was okay.
Question: What message do you hope Today I'm Staying Home spreads?
Thomas Keating: I hope it spreads the message that at times in your life it's okay not to be okay. We can't always expect as human beings to always be happy and super productive individuals. Sometimes you have to put the whip away and just. Give yourself a break.
Question: How do you practice self-care?
Thomas Keating: I try to practice self-care by taking care, spending time with people I love and who love me. I think the company you keep is so important and I try to surround myself with people who bring me up not people who hold me back or down.
Question: Can you tell us about filming the video clip for Today I'm Staying Home?
Thomas Keating: We had a lot of fun filming this clip. My good friend Kieran Gilfeather who I have collaborated with before came into the studio when we were recording Today I'm Staying Home and he just followed us around working for a couple of days. It was difficult at first having the cameras rolling while we were actually working on the song but once I relaxed I forgot he was even there and it made it a really pleasant way to make a music video.
Question: If you could have anyone, in the world, attend a show, who would it be?
Thomas Keating: The first person that comes to mind is my Grandmother. She passed away when I was pretty young and we were really close. I would give anything to share what I'm doing with her now.
Question: What motivates you most when writing music?
Thomas Keating: Life experiences; the highs and lows of everyday life. I tend to write retrospectively about experiences when I have come out the other side of them.
Question: Which music/artists are you currently listening to?
Thomas Keating: Lately I have been listening to a lot of Chet Atkins and Mark Knofler; they are incredibly unique and inspiring players and I would love to be able to play like they do one day.
Question: What or who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Thomas Keating: When I was younger I was really inspired by the emo band of the early 2000's like, Death Cab, Elliot Smith, Bright Eyes and stuff like that.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Thomas Keating: I would love to collaborate with Warren Ellis from the Bad Seeds; I think he's and incredibly gifted and creative guy who has such a unique spin on music and sound.
Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?
Thomas Keating: Meeting people and going to places that I would never have been to if I wasn't making music.
Question: Can you share your socials?
Thomas Keating: My facebook is - facebook.com/thomaskeatingmusic
And instagram is @thomas_keating_music
Interview by Brooke Hunter