Bands that sound like Keane ?
Years ago, there was a web site called “the Similarity Engine.” It was great: you entered a band name and it gave you other artists you might like too. Today, there are many ways to explore the same idea. For instance, www.Last.fm has a page like that, but really, does Oasis (more or less a defunct band) belong on the list of artists that sound like Keane? If you take an artist like Keane, the problem is that you have a classic (but rare) piano-driven sound, with superb melodies and great vocals. That’s pretty rare. Coldplay has a lot of that, but their songs are mostly guitar-driven.
So the question: “What are the bands that sound like Keane?” is almost impossible to answer. At best, we can say that if you like Keane, there are some other bands you might like too, simply because they are in the same style and have great songs. Here we go:
(#1, but not…) Mt. Desolation (Keane Members) + Tom Chaplin Solo!
Mount Desolation is Keane minus the singer. You would think that Tim Rice-Oxley (Keane’s piano player and composer) is creating similar-sound music. But no! Too bad… Actually, Mount Desolation does not sound like Keane which is British piano pop rock. No, it sounds like old-style Americana. Strange, but true. So we won’t bother with a video sample…
Now, yes, Tom Chaplin in his recent (2016) work does sound like Keane, but it is clearly not quite Keane. Tim is a genius composer that has a unique ability to craft chords and songs that leave everybody else amazed and somewhat jealous.
(#1, for the UK-minded…) The Candle Thieves
These guys could and should have been huge. They have awesome songs and deserve to have their music heard by the whole world. So if you have never heard of The Candle Thieves, check out Try Again below, but also Breathe and other “classics.” Buy the songs, they could use the cash and encouragement… However, the duo (they made the tragic choice of not finding a drummer and bass player) seems more or less discouraged and disbanded…
(#2) The Beautiful Sky
That’s us: the band writing this post, and for a good reason. Here are two promo videos that will illustrate why The Beautiful Sky is often compared to Keane, and a breath of Keane air during the current hiatus (but see our blog for updated Keane news)…
(#3) The Fray
This band is fairly big and often cited as of interest to Keane fans, but the general sound is different. The Fray really sounds like US rock. Almost Christian UK rock at times. Here is a 10 song sampler… The singer does not have the unique sound and quality that really sets Keane (and Coldplay) apart. Such is life..
(#4) Thirteen Senses
Into the Fire is their best known song, but again, they never got the international attention that Keane and Coldplay got…
(#5) Gabe Dixon
Gabe Dixon is very much piano-driven but sounds more like Americana than British Alternative rock. You decide if they belong on this list or only on our “Best Piano Rock Bands” post…
(#6) Matthew Puckett
Another solo artist with many piano-driven songs.
(#7) Jack’s Mannequin (ended in 2012, same as) = Andrew McMahon, the frontman of Something Corporate.
Something Corporate was piano-driven alright, but in the rock and punk category. So not very much like Keane… But McMahon’s solo work is more mellow and may be of interest to Keane fans, so here a representative track called Swim
These guys are back in 2014 and deserve a second chance at international success. Check out their early hit Silence is Easy:
(#9) One Republic
One Republic is a US radio pop act that is also a rock band (lest we forget). We have reviewed their latest CD Native here, and it was pretty poor and not very Keane – like. It had the polished sound of the latest The Killers CD, which was equally polished and uninspired…
Does Coldplay sound like Keane? Or does Keane sound like Coldplay? Both have singers singing high and falseto, both have really great songs, including piano driven songs. And both use unusual chords that really hit it. So here is “Clocks”:
Travis is a guitar-driven driven band, so what is the comparison with Keane? The quintessential British rock / pop factor and the vocals. Their classic is Why Does It Always Rain One Me below…
Snow Patrol and Keane (and Coldplay) always end up grouped together and for a reason: they are UK-based, successful, excellent live. Snow Patrol is a guitar rock band mostly, but they also have a strong piano and keyboard area and a number of piano led songs, including the one below…
Franz Ferdinand sound more like a post-punk Joy Division in the Interpol category. Below is a selection of their songs and you get to judge why we don’t think they are relevant to the Keane genre and still now and again included in the group…
The Bravery belongs to the 2000-2020 decades of return to the retro electro sound of the 80s. And Keane certainly has a permanent British-did-we-ever-left-the-80s feel to it. Especially on Night Train… So here is a sample of The Bravery (I Am Your Skin is a better song and also posted underneath…):
There are some mellow piano songs by The Killers, and The Killer is or was a great band. Great live act like Keane. 80s influences… So here is Sam’s Town. Not their best song (for that try Human or Dustland Fairytales):
Lots of great songs and piano songs by this talented songwriter. Here is the one to get you started: