By Maddy Lehr
Most people know Joe Keery as Steve Harrington from Netflix’s “Stranger Things.” You might be surprised to hear that he makes music as well. Keery started off in the psychedelic rock band, Post Animal. Once he landed his role as Steve, he made the tough decision to leave the group. However, he didn’t stop there. He went on to create his own music, under the name Djo.
Keery’s debut album, titled Twenty Twenty, is a perfect addition to the world of psych rock. Each song shows off crazy synths and catchy guitar riffs. Some of my personal favorites are “Tentpole Shangrila,” “Chateau (Feel Alright),” “Roddy,” and “BNBG.”
Keery begins with “Showtime,” a short introduction that sets the tone for the rest of the album. The song actually plays the instrumentals for “Mutual Future,” the last song of the album. This slight hint really ties the whole album together as it begins and ends with the same song.
In “Just Along for the Ride,” Keery expresses his fear of unpredictability. In the chorus, he alludes to “Stranger Things” with the lyrics “It’s stranger than I thought, my anonymity is gone.” He talks about his sudden fame and how he dealt with his newfound lack of privacy. The song ends with a cool echoing synth that goes back in reverse.
“Chateau (Feel Alright)” is my favorite song off of Twenty Twenty. This track is about longing to go back to the first time he met his girlfriend. He mentions that he struggles with feeling like an outsider, but he feels safe with her. I love the calming feeling this song provides. I could play this song for hours just listening to all the different layers.
“Roddy” was the first single released before the album was announced. This song is a conversation between Joe and his alter ego. He wants to stay true to himself even though he was bombarded with fame and popularity. If you were to listen to at least one song off this album, I’d choose this song. It perfectly shows off the style of his music.
Twenty Twenty is easily one of my favorite albums of all time. It has a great mix of upbeat rock songs and slower mesmerizing, psychedelic tracks. His lyrics are so well written in each song. I highly recommend taking a listen to this album, and keep an eye out for his new music.
Twenty Twenty is best listened to with headphones, trust me. Check out Twenty Twenty on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer or YouTube Music.
Featured Image via Twenty Twenty album cover and edited by Andrea Mau via Canva