Kelly Lee Owens – LP.8.2
Welsh electronic music artist Kelly Lee Owens’s LP.8 was an intriguing statement, an album that she felt came about five years too soon. While the breakthrough Inner Song harmonised her pop and techno influences to create a singular and unique sonic identity, LP.8 was a stark departure and pivot toward the abstract. Letting go of conventional song structures and rhythmic templates, LP.8 saw Owens create spectral, almost shamanic, compositions.
Owens’s latest work, pieced together from bits left behind during the LP.8 sessions, delves further into this mysticism. LP.8.2, despite what its title might suggest, is a four song EP that extends the universe of LP.8. It is both spiritual and apocalyptic, with synthetic and syncretic elements. These are like electronic mantras more so than songs, guided meditations whose sonic landscape is designed to elicit a particular emotion or help purge us of another altogether. Rituals loops Owens’s voice intoning over heavy bass drops and a sinister static crackle that grows increasingly more urgent, a push and pull between discomfort and beauty that ends up sounding like an epiphany. On The First Song, she again chants in extended vowels and thunderous drums are beat so that they resonate with her voice in space, while Moebius becomes a prayer to alleviate the stress of the modern world. “Anxiety / We all feel it,” Owens sings over booming sub bass. “Let go of control,” she urges.
LP.8.2 culminates with the stunning baroque pop of Find Our Way, a ballad whose shimmering optimism feels cathartic at the EP’s close. Sung over ambient drones and a soft, barely there drum pulse, Find Our Way ends with a single, overwhelmingly bright note that expands to emanate in the space around you before disappearing into the ether. LP.8 and LP.8.2 were compiled from the same recording sessions, and Owens’s willingness to experiment and push her sound to new heights is evident in both releases. Her work may have begun with a whimsical New Age edge, but it has evolved into a rougher, more abstract and spiritual expression that captivates and inspires.
Listen to Rituals from LP.8.2 below.
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