Keshi delivers handcrafted perfection once again with EP ‘bandaids’

Five track mini album ‘bandaids’ proves Keshi’s stunning lyrical prose and vocal execution


Annie Zhang

Lo-fi hip hop producer and musician Casey Luong, known professionally by stage name “Keshi,” is a Houston-based artist who produces musical pieces laced with nostalgic themes — bittersweet heartbreak and depression, to name a few. Keshi’s discography is a fusion of acoustic rhythm, melodramatic vulnerability and mesmerizing vocals. 

On March 23, three months after his release of the single “blue” in December of 2019, Keshi released his first album of the year, “bandaids.” “bandaids” is an enthralling five song album with three new songs — “alright,” “bandaids” and “less of you — and two pre-released singles. With “bandaids,” Keshi not only complements the artistic flair of his prior musical work, but also further establishes his signature romantic sound. 


“alright” begins with a slow, gentle acoustic strumming, a comforting and familiar presence in all of Keshi’s music. Through the blending of a hiphop cue and Keshi’s singing followed by a bass drop, Keshi is able to integrate an element of hip hop while continuously playing up to the romantic feel of the song, giving the song edge and personality. This is a common framework in Keshi’s songs, as he is able to evoke rawness into his work by overlaying his breathy voice and adlibs with a soothing yet sentimental beat. 

One of the most breathtaking takeaways of “alright” is the prose of the lyric, “With or without you, I’ve waited my whole life / I could wait a little longer,” which was executed with astounding emotion and technique. By adding breaths and heaving sighs at the end of each line, Keshi is able to passionately and powerfully vocalize his unconditional love and longing. Though his voice doesn’t waver, Keshi’s voice changes pitch for a quick moment in the second verse, synonymous to the sound of pleading or crying. With this, “alright” is a cascade of mixed sentiments that communicates his fragility through flawless execution. This lyric was teased on Keshi’s personal Twitter account on March 3.


The title track “bandaids” recounts the numbness of heartbreak, which parallels the song’s melancholic rhythm. “bandaids” is sung with echoey vocals, as there is no vocal filtering, which makes his voice sound unmuddled. This stylistic choice emphasizes the rawness of Keshi’s voice and leaves a lasting imprint with each verse, as his words reverberate. With this, Keshi is able to tie a sense of fluidity in the song, as there is no exact stopping point between when he stops singing a verse and when he starts a next one. This complements the dreamy yet heartbreaking haze of the song, which only amplifies the song’s compositional quality and delivery.

The chorus of the song, “I’m afraid that bandaids are no good for heartache,” is sung two words at a time with pauses in between to help the listener to fully digest the lyrical prose of the song. The word “heartbreak” is sung almost monotonically, which evokes the feeling of fatigue that Keshi intends to communicate. This dragged out execution is able to mesmerize and seize the listener’s attention — the listener is able to truly feel and experience the song. 

Around three minutes into the song, “bandaids” abruptly transitions from the final chorus of acoustic guitar and high-pitched adlibs to a slow, 20 second piano segment. Upon first listen, the sudden insertion of a piano was abnormal and off-putting, as it strayed from conventional song composition. However, the piano’s lone and sad melody slows the song’s momentum and submerges the listener into the song’s sound, allowing them to fully process the song’s meaning. “bandaids” also showcases Keshi’s experimentation with varying musical instruments, as piano is not commonly used in his work. 

“less of you” 

“less of you” narrates the contemplation of breaking a relationship loose, as the unspecified female that Keshi sings of repeatedly is “gone by the morning.” 

The song begins with gentle guitar strumming and Keshi’s trademark falsetto opening that lulls listeners in. The catchy falsetto melody is one of the most attractive facets of the “less of you,” as this beautifully underlays the song’s bridge to add a layer of depth. This recurs throughout the duration of the song, making “less of you” one of the most unforgettable tracks on the album. 

The chorus lyric “When you come home / I just got over being less of you” denotes that when Keshi’s lover decides to return back to him, Keshi will inevitably forgive her absence. Through phrasing the lyrics as that he “just got over” the feeling of remorse and rejection, Keshi alludes that the fortifications he built will be once again destroyed, rendering himself as “less” of the girl once more. 


The rhythm, composition, stylistic choices and vocalization of “bandaids” is reminiscent of Keshi’s full discography, which establishes Keshi’s sentimental and bittersweet artistic sound. “bandaids” sounds undoubtedly Keshi, and its tracks fuse the signature finishing touches that make Keshi’s music sound familiar and comforting. 

Though “bandaids” is weaved with downhearted undertones, which is especially evident in its title track, the album overall is dreamlike, reflective and light. This is a refreshing contrast from Keshi’s last album “skeletons,” which carries implications of inner torment, self isolation, depression and fragility. While “skeletons” sounds like a cry for help, “bandaids” still stays authentic to Keshi’s heartbreak theme while sounding slightly more uplifting in craft. 

Overall, “bandaids” is a musically stunning album that once again exhibits Keshi’s raw vocal talent and his flair to compose addictive yet somber tracks. The submersive experience that “bandaids” offers allows listeners to recollect, contemplate and truly feel.