Keyth Lawrence
Gig Seeker Pro

Keyth Lawrence


Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"PM Entertainment Magazine - 7/04"

Ten days after the OMA's, Keyth Lawrence and his five-piece band The Purple Circle celebrated the release of their breakthrough CD "Figures" at Fez, the downtown hotspot that always showcases the hottest acts: guaranteed to please, yet with a little edge to it. And that's just how I feel about Keyth's music, which is guaranteed to please, yet has...well, MORE than just a little edge to it! Keyth has been everywhere lately, and "Figures" debuted at #1 on the Outvoice Top 40 Albums Charts. That night, designer Ritchie Rich, one half of the Heatherettes, hosted the event and designed Keyth's wardrobe: a glam throwback to when fashion wasn't afraid to be bold. Keyth's voice is regal, occasionally soulful and haunting-- perfectly showcased on the gorgeous title track, "Figures"-- and sometimes positively otherworldly, like on the piano-and-vocals-only track "Leaving". The music is full of subtle yet intricate nuances: seductive and soothing yet strong, with haunting lyrics (On "Orbital": "Someone's out to get me and so I pull another David Bowie; And sometimes I think I invented disappointment"... "Mary, you're full of grace, and I'm full of anesthesia; I can't tell the fishing hooks, honey, from the Vaseline.").So many different meanings can be interpreted. In addition to new songs from the CD, including a lighter track called "89 of You", we got to hear "Horizon Honey", a song that was pulled from "Figures" at the last minute; and the crowd-pleasing "Hungry Like The Wolf". At first listen, Keyth's music may seem a little cool and a little distant, but it seduces and pulls you in...and then you realize: To understand and get into his music, you have to go into his world. You'll want to!

By: Jed Ryan

PM Entertainment (NY) - LIVE CD Release Review

" - 7/04"

Keyth Lawrence plays a sick piano with an ability to conjure forth the demons and emotions that less talented pianists would struggle with. Separating the twelve tracks into the “Northern Hemisphere” and the “Southern Hemisphere” adds an element of art rock to their sound. One could easily pick out tunes that could complement a Tori Amos, Rufus Wainwright, or even Coldplay album. The production is fantastic and completely vanilla smooth.

- J-Sin

Link to review:

Home: - Online Album Review

" - 9/04"

by Keyth Lawrence and The Purple Circle
I Said! Records

Keyth will probably – and with good reason – be on a lot of top ten lists this year. Figures is a “rock with a bit of culture to it” CD. in that it sounds like Keyth has had some classical training. NYC based Lawrence wrote all the music and lyrics, and performs with his band The Purple Circle: Susan Bruno, Peter Cunningham, Dave Rodriguez, and Kevin Torres. Other singers and musicians appear in guest spots.

So what’s cool about it?

Musically, he’s got a deft hand in changing moods or just reaching the unexpected note. It’s intriguing to see follow the chord progression and subtle mixing of ideas as he seamlessly goes from minor to major (as in “Leaving”), from classical to pop (as in “Skylar’s Ride”) or in many numbers, halts the action to start a slow section, then brings it all together at the end with a recap.

Lawrence plays keys, and there’s a piano lead throughout most of the songs. Of course, some songs are better’n others. My fave of the album is actually one he did on his own, the final cut called “Orbital.” This time, he’s effective more by not changing chords, but rather by staying around the home key. It features some fine keyboard playing and some country-music type voice twanging. Anyway, it’s super.

Lyrics are… well… odd. Not "bad"... just "odd." I guess you could say "out there". They’re also printed in real tiny type on a dark background and hard to read, which is too bad, since they’re already a bit hard to figure out.
Words to these songs resonate in the subconscious perfectly even if they make no sense to us in the brain up front – they conjure up the emotion and the image without, necessarily, the situation.. “Mary, you’re full of grace, and I’m full of anesthesia, and I can’t tell the fishing hooks from the Vaseline,” is the report from “Orbital.” You tell me. But, it works.

Most of these deal with relationships in some unconventional manner: “89 of You” is a bluesy number about a failed affair with a married guy. “Here In Theory” is a nostalgic ballad with a wistful guitar lead that occasionally sounds like a mandolin. “It seems we’ll drink to anything these days,” he pines. You can almost see him sitting across from the ex, or the hoped-for, wishing things were different.
Some songs fare better than others, but this one's a winner.

By Jerry Rabushka

Link to review:

- Online Album Review

"# 1 on OutVoice TOP 40 Charts! - 5/04"

Keyth Lawrence's powerful piano playing and art rock songs have the critics raving in this pre-release officially due out in June. Manhattan's Lawrence and his new group, The Purple Circle, create rich layered music carrying stories on the wind. The Purple Circle is a metaphor for the unity between the musicians and the fans who listen to their songs. "The Purple Circle started as a personal and artistic sacred space. It continues to maintain that quality, but has evolved into something much bigger," says Keyth. "It is now something that expands to include the energy and experience of the audience." "Songs are like children," he says. "You nuture them and they grow. They surprise you and begin to take on a life of their own." Lawrence's "children" soar to amazing heights and take the listener on a fantastic ride. Hop on the Purple Circle and take a few spins... your mind will thank you.

By: Daniel Jenkins - Online Top 40 Review

"HX Magazine (NY) - 6/04"

In part, openly gay singer/songwriter Lawrence is refreshingly old-fashioned. His songs command attention with stories
about love, loss and journeying accompanied by Lawrence's emotive voice and dynamite keyboard work. Songs vary from ironic and dark cuts such as ["Lead Balloons"] to uptempo tracks like"Leaving." Figures is high energy pop-rock throughout, which showcases why this quintet is such a hot ticket in New York clubs.

By Andrew Velez

HX Magazine (NY) - Print Album Review

"PlanetOut - 1/05"

By Jenny Stewart

Keyth Lawrence is becoming one of the most talked-about musicians in New York. And it's no wonder: His new album "Figures" is a collection of lush, melodic piano pop songs that at times sound like they could be early demos from Coldplay's first album, "Parachutes." And it doesn't hurt that Lawrence also happens to be one of the cutest out musicians around.

Like fellow RockOut emerging artist Eric Himan, the Manhattan-based Lawrence became hooked on music at a very early age. His father bought him a piano when he was 7 years old, and once he started pounding the keys, he was hooked for life.

After perfecting his piano and songwriting skills, Lawrence began gigging extensively as a solo artist at various cabaret venues in the City. After hooking up with some especially talented musicians, Lawrence decided his eclectic sound could be improved with more musicians to back it up. And, voilà, Keyth Lawrence and the Purple Circle were born.

Now a fixture on the indie music scene, Lawrence, with his new album and equally impressive live shows, is winning over fans and critics alike. "Anyone who has been bemoaning the lack of creativity or originality in today's pop music scene should enter the world of Keyth Lawrence," critic Jed Ryan of PM Magazine recently wrote. "Even though he's been influenced by classical music and the sounds of the '80s, there's an unmistakably futuristic and fantastic quality to Keyth's songs: His music sounds 10 years in the making."

Ryan is right, and with the impressive debut of "Figures" at the number one spot on the OutVoice TOP 40 Charts, it seems like more and more people are starting to get the message.

Link to Review:
- Profile/Review

"Frontiers Magazine (LA) - 11/04"

Frontiers Magazine (LA)

Keyth Lawrence and the Purple Circle
(I Said! Records)

I have to admit, when I first read the press release on openly gay piano-man Keyth Lawrence and his band, the Purple Circle, I didn't have high hopes for their CD, "Figures." I envisioned a squeaky-clean, earnest pretty boy singing painfully heartfelt songs about having his heart broken, backed by melancholy piano playing. But a funny thing happened from the time I put the disc in my stereo to the time it ended: I actually enjoyed it. Perhaps because--or in spite--of my lowered expectations, I was pleasantly surprised by the bounce of the opening track, "Justice"; by the somberness of the time-goes-by lament of the title track; by the sophisticated pop of both "Weird Science" and "Spread"; by Lawrence's spirited delivery of his often-perplexing lyrics ("It figures the kitchen is cold/If staying meant blankets/'Happy Fourth of July' I think this year we've been sold" is one example of his ability to flummox with his word play); and by the production (courtesy of Jamie Siegel and Lawrence himself), which eschews schmaltz in favor of upbeat arrangements. Lawrence does occasionally dip into the well of loneliness, as on "Another Evening," but even here, he pairs his bizarre ramblings with a loungey arrangement that keeps it from becoming maudlin. While there will undoubtedly be those who remain unmoved by his skilled tickling of the ivories and his pleasant voice, Lawrence has fashioned an album that sets him apart from most of what constitutes the canon of adult-contemporary offerings. Taking Tori Amos' penchant for loopy psychological musings (the luminescent closer, "Orbital," is especially reminiscent of Amos' more emotive pieces--complete with vague religious imagery and references to David Bowie) and combining it with the hipster vibe of current VH-1 fave Jamie Cullum, Lawrence actually manages to create a quite unique--if occasionally confounding--niche all his own.

--Ken Knox
- Print/Online Album review

" - 11/04"

"Lawrence has a dashing sophistication and strong appreciation for good old-fashioned sounds made on good old-fashioned instruments."

Imagine Marc Almond composing a rock opera on piano. Imagine REM's Michael Stipe with a deeper and richer voice, minus the nasal sound. Wrap those images in a warm, flowing tapestry of classical jazz pop, and you have something like a gothic-flavored Harry Connick Jr. Or, you get Keyth Lawrence and the Purple Circle, which is even better.

I always swoon for lush compositions with dancing melodies, so I am wonderfully helpless over Lawrence. He has a dashing sophistication and strong appreciation for good old-fashioned sounds made on good old-fashioned instruments. And the guy can write a lyric. From "Lead Balloons":

The soldiers get used to giving beyond a vanilla edge
I hold my spirit so it won't break inside this snow globe
This story is going over just like lead balloons
My fire decided to die before I got to you ...

Surprising, that's an uptempo track. From there, he throws in a bit of swing and Broadway on "89 of You" and a dark ominousness over "Skylar's Ride." "Weird Science" is a romp in intellectual, and often sexy, pop fun. (I love the line "I'm gonna keep the summer around because I know that the sex is in season.") Each track is divine.

I also must thank Ryan Michael Kelly for such gorgeous cover photography, which does perfect justice to the music inside. Mr. Kelly, if you ever sell a poster-sized version of the back cover, the one with the glorious aurora borealis cascading over the piano, I will buy a copy for my living room.

By Jennifer Layton

Link to review:

Home: - Online Album Review

"Luna Kafe - 6/04"

Keyth Lawrence and his group play intelligent, multi-faceted music. Lawrence sings in a personal voice and plays the piano well. He reminds me of Rory Merritt Stitt and Tori Amos.

The elegant piano playing on the title track is complimented by Lawrence's dreamy vocal. His delivery owes something to Tori Amos here and the cryptic lyrics nod in her direction too. The buoyant "Lead Balloons" is worthy of a Rufus Wainwright. Lawrence is a wizard on the keys here. The bitter "89 of You" sees the narrator looking through a former lover. Musically it's playful but its sting is hardly hidden.

"Now that I know there's 89 of you and you only came to play cause you had nothing to do" spits Lawrence. The brilliant disco strut of "Mission" should make anyone want to dance. The progressive rock of "Another Evening" hides a sad love song. "While your garlic kills, my garlic cures" he sings, and makes it sound meaningful.

This debut is assured enough to make Lawrence a name to remember.

By: Anna Maria Stjärnell

Link to review:

Home: - Online Album Review

"Philadelphia Gay News - 11/04"

Lawrence 'Figures' it out

By Robin Renée
PGN Contributing Writer
© 2004 Robin Renée

Albert Camus once said, "Those who write clearly have readers, those who write obscurely have commentators."

"Obscure" would be an unkind word for the wonderfully familiar and puzzling lyrics of Manhattan-based Keyth Lawrence. His debut full-length CD, "Figures," has already gained enthusiastic listeners, and should garner commentators of those who love language, intriguing and complex, like those who waited once with baited breath for the latest Dylan record.

Lawrence, along with his backing band, The Purple Circle, presents a 12-song cycle in a simple guitar/bass/drum lineup that gives Lawrence's accomplished piano the well-deserved place of honor. Mood-altering tempo and energetic changes take the music to places that are often surprising; they ultimately dissolve to soothing resolution. Lawrence's distinctive lead vocal could be compared to a number of contemporary voices though it is his own; to call it a more emotional Eddie Vedder may put you in the same universe.

"I always wanted to make records and the record was a very specific experience," Lawrence said. "It was more interactive."

Released in June on his own I Said! Records, "Figures" was completed in only nine hours.

Determined to make a record the traditional way before endless hours of multi-tracking, even the songs and lyric sheet are divided into Northern and Southern Hemispheres, as side A and B of a vinyl offering.

" 'Figures is a story from top to tail," he explained. "There's a lot of loss in the first half of the record, and a restoring of faith in the second. 'Figures' in your life that are supposed to be solid, crumble. At the same time 9/11 happened, my relationship of four years ended. The New York skyline changed and my eyes had to get used to a new shape. And so it was in the emotional landscape."

The pace is set on the first track, "Justice," where the declaration "It's music for a brave new world" prefaces the rest of "You" ; the latter song about an ill-fated love triangle, hits with a poppy bounce, counterbalanced by lyrics like, "Knock knock I'm home again from the sky where I've been dangling for so long/I've even polished my feet for the occasion."

Although it's clear that hit-making was not the agenda here, two great single-potential tunes emerge. "Leaving" features a friendly modern rock guitar riff and a harmony interplay reminiscent of early R.E.M. The sexy, understated dance beat of "Mission" implores "Fly or die" - as if asking us to jump deep into the surreality of life full-throttle.

"Orbital" ends the cycle. It's a ballad with both the most moving melody and astounding lyrics to match: "Mary, you're full of grace and I'm full of anesthesia/ I can't tell the fishing hooks, honey, from the Vaseline."

"As much as the record is like journalism for me, it became a very surreal painting by the end," Lawrence said, claiming Salvador Dali as a great influence along with masters of many disciplines.

On first listen to "Figures," I heard a formidable release, but it was on the second time that it reminded mildly of my first listen to "Ziggy Stardust." I knew that it was something special and important.

"The artist's job has pretty much been the same throughout time, Lawrence said. "We continue to raise questions that are obvious to us and aren't always obvious to other people and that's the point."

Please: Suspend logic, find strange beauty, and listen to Keyth Lawrence and the Purple Circle.

For more information, see Web site:

Link to Review:

Robin Renée is a singer/songwriter whose essays have appeared in "That Takes Ovaries! - Bold Females and their Brazen Acts" (Random House) and "Blessed Bi Spirit: Bisexual People of Faith" (Continuum Press). Her most recent CD is "All Six Senses." Her Web site is:
- Album Print/Online Review


*Keyth Lawrence
The Dairy Farm Follies - Demo (I Said! Records, 2005)

*Keyth Lawrence and the Purple Circle
Figures (I Said! Records, 2004)

*Keyth Lawrence and the Purple Circle
After the Why (in Centrifuge Minor) (2002)

*Keyth Lawrence (solo)
Snakesitting (1998)



** 2005 Outmusic Award Nominee for Outstanding Debut Recording (Male) **

Keyth Lawrence, the powerful song force hailing from Manhattan spins his yarns through his life-long love of the piano. Keyth has been accompanied by his instrument, and talent for playing it since he was 7 years-old. "Before I could really even add numbers together, I knew I wanted to perform,” says Keyth. “I had it all figured out at 6 years-old. In my head, I was destined to become a clown or a magician. A year later, the piano was rolled into the living room and the musician in my heart came alive.” After a listen to his body of work, one might agree that there is still a bit of magic involved.

After gigging extensively as a solo artist in popular New York City cabaret venues such as Don't Tell Mama, The Duplex, and other intimate spaces, he logically began bringing other musicians onto the stage with him until he formed what has become Keyth Lawrence and the Purple Circle. The now 5 - member ensemble puts on high energy rock shows with tailored storytelling capabilities throughout New York City. The Purple Circle is an inclusive metaphor for the unity of the band and the unity fans have to the music they play, and to the stories Keyth shares. “The Purple Circle started as a personal and artistic sacred space. It continues to maintain that quality, but has evolved into something much bigger,” says Keyth. “It is now something that expands to include the energy and experience of the audience.”

Keyth's most defining artistic traits include a character-driven, storied style of songwriting, an acrobatic and emotive voice that tells it, and a classically-inspired, powerhouse style of piano playing that falls somewhere between Chopin and Jerry Lee Lewis. With a brave and dramatic style reminiscent of The Cure, Keyth also maintains a solid passion for the piano, like that of more recent artists including Rufus Wainwright and Coldplay. The instrument is what “makes the music physical, tactile, visceral- it has always saddened me that the piano has been lost over the years as the nucleus of music,” Keyth says.

Candid songwriting that reveals unexpected truths- think Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Bowie, Tori Amos- a fusion of prophet and bard, equal parts soul searcher and dramatic performer. With a unique vocal styling, Keyth sings against melody, beyond measure, and outside borders. Phrasing that mimics the rhythm of the human breath lends a vulnerability to the songs. Songs are rarely sung the same way twice. “Songs are like children,” Keyth says. “You nurture them and they grow. They surprise you and begin to take on a life of their own.” His songbook makes border raids on every conceivable emotion, soaring from a riotous rock-rolling peak to an audio adagio.

The album, Figures, following a sold-out release concert at NYC’s FEZ in 2004, zoomed to #1 on the Outvoice Top 40 Charts. This was supported by rave reviews from publications such as Frontiers (LA), Philadelphia Gay News, PM Entertainment (NY), HX Magazine (NY), and In addition to the overall success of the CD, the first single off the album, “Leaving,” has been receiving national airplay and was recently recognized by the International Songwriting Contest. Keyth will also have the privilege of performing at the Tori Amos Tribute / RAINN Benefit in North Carolina for the second year in a row, and was showcased twice at NYC’s Jacob Javits Convention Center this past year. FIGURES was recently named one of the Best Albums of 2004 by The Stonewall Society AND, who referred to FIGURES as "one of the best CDs by a queer artist in years”. called Keyth "one of the most talked-about musicians in New York."

Keyth is currently promoting the new 3-track demo, which clearly illustrates the sonic growth and undeniable cohesiveness of the band’s sound in Figures. Co-produced by Keyth and Engineer Jamie Siegel, (whose credits include Lauryn Hill, Bob Marley, and Smashing Pumkpins), the demo also features bassist Matt Rubano (Warner Bros’ artist, of the rock band, Taking Back Sunday), guitarist Dave Holmes (Roir recording artist, of the band Dub Trio), and long-time drummer, Peter Cunningham.

These songs were not recorded live, as in the last album. They were tracked - built, like little pieces of architecture”, notes Keyth. “Mint” warrants the listener’s attention immediately from the powerful introduction and guitar-driven rock chorus. Keyth gives up the piano for a Wurlitzer in the darker tale, “Wood”, where the rhythm section drives this tune into a groove and keeps the listener there. The exquisite “Uncle” showcases Keyth’s natural ability to story-tell from the piano’s perspective.

Jennifer White
I Said! Records
call: 917.804.7671