Kelly Lee Owen - Kelly Lee Owens

Kelly Lee Owens
Kelly Lee Owens

Looking at the album cover for Kelly Lee Owens' self titled debut you think you are in for some kind of indie romp, but you'd be incredibly wrong. There was a time when Owens plied her trade with acoustic guitars and nature sounds, but now she has moved into a more electronic dream pop space. The nature sounds are still there, but like on "Arthur" they skitter away making room for this electronic sound that maintains their beauty but puts them through a different prism. When the beat drops on the second track it's deep, evocative and so rich depth that you cannot stop listening. It's like Owens is soundtracking a dream taking these sounds that feel otherworldly at one time but totally grounded in reality in another. It's a special space and one she slides into expertly. There is nothing that strikes you as uneasy on this record, She is so confident from the very first moment even though we've never heard this kind of music from her that it's infectious. Nothing feels like a discovery or something she stumbled on, this is curated and direct music with purpose. With the first couple of tracks you expect something more singer songwriter focused, but She throws all that away and dives deep into the ambient and really fun stuff. "Bird" is a song like you haven't heard before, it's so unique; minimal at one point, complex at others but always with a beat stuck to the floor that you can dance to. She already has such a sense for how electronic music can and should sound that she actually gets better and better as the album progresses.

There are times where she even gets super techy like on "Cbm" but it's absolutely fantastic. Time and space get blended and the album just sails by barely allowing you to catch your breath before it's over. Track lengths and run times just don't really matter because with Owens you are getting lost in a world, that is what you should be taking away rather than this wasn't a typical pop song length. On the surface these songs are quite simple but the layers upon layers add this depth that is simply incredible. This allows Her sweet voice to cut right through it all like a knife through butter. The album closes on her nine minute opus "8" which is a song you'd expect from someone who has been working in electronic music for years, not on a debut. The song changes and shifts taking simple things are making them beautiful and aggressive. Her music almost feels like a fake smile, with just a touch of menace lying just below. She never gives you exactly what you want, because she is to busy giving you what you need. It's incredible, it's awesome just please get the fuck up and listen to this record.

9.1 out of 10


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