Trish Keenan, the lead singer of the British electronic pop music group Broadcast, has died, according to her record label. She was 42.
"It is with great sadness we announce that Trish Keenan from Broadcast passed away at 9 a.m. this morning in hospital," Ward Records said in a statement Friday. "She died from complications with pneumonia after battling the illness for two weeks in intensive care."
Keenan and James Cargill formed Broadcast in the mid-'90s as a quintet and released the album The Noise Made by People. By 2005, Keenan and Cargill were the only remaining band members, and the two released Tender Buttons.
The band's most recent release was a collaboration with The Focus Group in 2009.
bringing back memories of when mary hansen from stereolab passed away from that bicycle accident.
We're deeply saddened to report that Broadcast frontwoman Trish Keenan has died. A statement on the Warp Records site reads:
"It is with great sadness we announce that Trish Keenan from Broadcast passed away at 9am this morning in hospital. She died from complications with pneumonia after battling the illness for two weeks in intensive care. Our thoughts go out to James, Martin, her friends and her family and we request that the public respect their wishes for privacy at this time. This is an untimely tragic loss and we will miss Trish dearly - a unique voice, an extraordinary talent and a beautiful human being. Rest in Peace."
Keenan was one of the founding members of Broadcast, who formed in the mid-1990s as a quintet and released a series of singles on Wurlitzer Jukebox and Duophonic Records before being approached by Warp, who compiled the single releases on the 1997 compilation Work and Non Work. The band released its debut full-length, The Noise Made by People, in 2000; that record established a cosmopolitan pop sound reminiscent of Stereolab while also taking influence from the more experimental sounds of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
In 2003, Broadcast released their sophomore full-length, Haha Sound, which featured slightly harsher textures amidst the band's continued draw from 60s pop, early electronic, film soundtracks (particularly the Czech film Valerie and Her Week of Wonders), and avant-garde influences. In 2005, only Keenan and multi-instrumentalist James Cargill remained as members of the band, releasing Broadcast's third full-length, Tender Buttons, which took the band's sound in an even harsher, more staticky direction while still prominently featuring Keenan's sleepy, high-register coo.
Another singles and rarities compilation, The Future Crayon, was released the following year; the duo then remained relatively silent until their most recent release, 2009's collaboratiive mini-LP with experimental musician Julian House's project the Focus Group, Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age. Check out audio and video of some of Keenan's work as part of Broadcast below.
As a band Broadcast occupied a position of musical purity in that they simply just loved making and playing music. This was reflected no better than by lead singer Trish Keenan who sadly passed away this morning from pneumonia, aged 42.
The band had been touring in Australia and Singapore before Christmas when Ms Keenan contracted the swine flu virus.
With little time for ‘pop music’s’ self importance she often joked that ‘pop stardom’ didn’t happen to people from Birmingham.
Having formed in the early 90s in the second city the Broadcast sound was kaleidoscopic electronica coupled effortlessly with Keenan’s dreamscape style vocal. As a quintet they released a number of singles on Wurlitzer Jukebox and Duophonic Records before being approached by Warp who compiled their single releases on 1997s ‘Work and Non Work’ with a number of further releases on Warp to follow.
Comparisons were often made to the much more commercially successful Stereolab and Saint Etienne with Broadcast being underrated and overlooked by the music media at large when the truth of the matter is Broadcast offered something quite different to both bands.
Darker and edgier in terms of music style and subject matter Broadcast occupied a space of their own encompassing a more film soundtrack feel. Few interviews with Keenan and the band reveal little more than what instruments they used and how truly and honestly their passion for what they did was.
Their sound did the majority of the talking, and perhaps today’s world of X Factor and throwaway musical hype without the ground work or substance should take note that it’s not always those that shout loudest that should be heard. Most recently Trish Keenan’s unique tones could be heard on Broadcast’s collaborative release with The Focus Group named ‘ Investigate Witch Cults Of The Radio Age’ released in 2009 on Warp Records (see clip below), which was hailed as an influence on his musical reinvention by Paul Weller.