Track of the Day: Kee’ahn “Better Things” (2020)


“Better Things” is the sublime debut single from First Nations singer-songwriter Kee’ahn. It’s also the first taste of her forthcoming debut album, In Full Bloom. Introspective and soulful, “Better Things”, chronicles Kee’ahn’s journey from self-doubt to empowerment and joy. 

Kee’ahn is a proud Gugu Yalanji, Jirrbal, Zenadth Kes song woman, and a recent transplant to the Kulin Nation (Melbourne) from her home town in North Queensland. And, whilst “Better Things” might be her debut release, Kee’ahn already has plenty of performance experience. She appeared at the St Kilda Festival and Laneway Festival in 2019, and was a feature artist with the Homelands Collective at the National, Woodford and Cygnet Folk Festivals, as well as the Yirramboi First Nations Festival. It’s apt then that her name, which comes from the Wik people, means to dance, to sing, to play. 

“Better Things”, despite its beauty, was written during a period of hardship, with Kee’ahn experiencing “an overwhelming feeling of being lost and alone” following the breakdown of a relationship and a bout of homesickness. According to Kee’ahn, the song “is about being grateful for what I have, looking towards the future and having hope. I think that’s how I’ve been able to share my voice, express my emotions, and heal through my music”.

Created with the support of Homelands and Creative Victoria, “Better Things” is an assured and confident debut. It is undeniably soulful, thanks to those subtle horn fills and a remarkable vocal performance at its centre. It’s a quietly powerful performance, nothing too showy, but one which sets down a marker. Expect to hear more from Kee’ahn that’s for sure!

“Better Things” is out now. Make sure to follow Kee’ahn on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.