East Village resident and GRAMMY Award-winning songwriter and vocalist Susan McKeown tips her cap to her longtime hometown of NYC with several songs from the stunning new album 'Belong' (November 13), which marks half of her life in the States.
"On The Bridge to Williamsburg" depicts two lovers crossing the bridge as obstacles thrown in their path threaten to stop them from reaching their destination together. McKeown says, "Some things are obvious – it’s the not knowing that’s challenging." She poignantly sings to both town and lover, "I've been here for long enough."
McKeown is joined on the song by "captivating" (All Music Guide) Irish singer-songwriter Declan O’Rourke, who scored a double platinum album in Ireland and has been covered by Eddie Vedder and Josh Groban. Evoking Whitman in McKeown's writing, O'Rourke sings,
"Underneath the Brooklyn sky
Hand in hand just you and I
The ferry racing on the tide
The broken sugar factory sign"
Of the haunting "Lullaby of Manhattan," McKeown says, "Broken delph, broken dreams: a domestic tale from the city that never sleeps. Old Irish lullabies were rarely sugar, spice and all things nice, and this urban one is no different."
"City of the Roses," featuring McKeown's East Village neighbor Ray Santiago on piano, references Staten Island and New York Harbor, discusses how we hold onto things for a long time: people, places, events, keeping ourselves stuck.
Fellow New Yorkers: McKeown will play the Living Room November 7 for a broadcast on SIRIUS XM The Loft.