Pangea Write Dark Songs About a Hell of a Girl
Pangea, made up of Keegan, guitarist Cory Hanson, bassist Danny Bengston and drummer Erik Jimenez, are sitting outside Keegan and Bengston's Lincoln Heights house. The place is small and unassuming, the inside freshly partied in. "I'm glad you weren't here last night," Bengston says with a laugh. "You would have thought we were weird and wonderful."
Bengston and Keegan are physical opposites: Bengston is short and round and as disheveled as the music he makes; Keegan, 26, is waif-thin, and the afternoon wind seems like it might be able to blow him away. Both are drinking beers while Jimenez sits on the stoop having a cigarette. Hanson is nowhere to be seen.
This particular incarnation of Pangea has existed since August of 2009, though Keegan was writing tunes under the moniker well before then. Bengston and Keegan have known each other for many years, playing music together for much of that time. When Bengston went to Cal Arts he met Hanson. Pangea needed a guitarist, as theirs had left the band, and Hanson has contributed a new musical voice to their sound. "The next record is going to be even darker and heavier, a bit slower," says Keegan. That sounds auspicious, as some of the best songs on their previous release Living Dummy, like "Haunted," are quite slow, and most of the band's songs were written about doomed relationships.
Keegan admits that most of their slapdash, messy pop songs were inspired by his own relationship with Penelope Gazin, the muse for Living Dummy. She even drew the cover art. Sample lyric: "We don't hold hands anymore/We just give head anymore."
The new album will be out on Burger Records, the Fullerton-based shop that doubles as a label with a roster including The Black Lips and Ty Segall. Being a part of Burger has been Pangea's most rich collaboration thus far. The label called them on New Year's day 2011; Jimenez remembers it as a major moment. "We had been trying to find out how to get on Burger," he says, "and then they were calling us."
Alexander Uhrich Keegan rocking a house party