Single Review: Kelly Lee Owens Wears Her Heart On Her Sleeve In ‘On’

Kelly Lee Owens | On (single) | Smalltown Supersound

Release Date: 24 June, 2020

Album Release: 28 August, 2020

This is perhaps the most intimate and personal song I’ve written so far – the two halves of the track reflect upon sad acceptances of the truth and then the joyous aftermath of liberation that can come from that,” says Owens. “This can definitely be heard in the production and arrangement of the track – the first half sonically connecting to the inner revelations and the second half, the liberation in action, the forward motion.

Producer and musician Kelly Lee Owens is an artist whose work manages to capture an inherently personal, empathetic aura: a deeply charismatic, relatable mesmer that, within her unique take to her instrumental crafts, allows listeners feel a sense of relatability with the artist herself – engaging, and kindly accessible.

It can be challenging to experience that sense of connection with musicians and producers themselves within their works: it’s a difficult feat to accurately convey one’s personality, along with any messages or experiences in the artistic realm that truly allow for a sense of connection with their audience. Whether it’s her hypnotic approach to minimalist techno, or her captivating dream-pop charm, Owens is an artist that regularly allows her personality to shine through within her work, making her as a musician shimmers stunningly on the radar of the electronic music industry in general.

With her forthcoming album ‘Inner Sound‘ delayed from May until August, we’ve been lucky enough to receive enthralling singles from the talented producer. Scheduled to be released via Smalltown Supersound on August 28th, her previous singles ‘Melt!‘ and ‘Night‘ have given us a wonderful taste of what to expect with her distinct, emotive techno beats (including perfectly accompanying, bold visuals) but with her latest single ‘On‘, including a video directed by Kasper Häggström filmed across the Norwegian coastline: Owens once again showcases her prowess when it comes to her take on electronic dream-pop, a significant difference from the previously released singles, but one that is uniquely hers nonetheless.

One of the most beautiful aspects of ‘On‘ is undoubtedly Owen’s vocals: the loving introspection present in her voice are particularly remarkable and alluring as the track begin. Soft, kind and blooming with a delicacy that captures a genuine melancholic tenderness, the artist wears her heart on her sleeve. Along with accompanying video, which depicts the journey of a man and his dog across a rather desaturated, gloomy landscape – the deeply engaging, sadly beautiful aura of isolation and separation works in perfect tandem with the track’s subject matter, the intimacy of a relationship that is simply not mean to be.

The artist’s signature minimalist electronics glow elegantly in their simplicity, Owen’s proficiency in working with focused timbres in her compositions along with the gradually blossoming layers of atmospheric soundscapes complimenting her striking vocal range, luminous with harmonies.

(Editors Note: I could’t help but become somewhat teary watching the accompanying video – the audio-visual companionship and overall concept of both the track and video makes ‘On’ feel exceptionally authentic and genuine, which is something that I don’t come across all too often.)

As ‘On‘ progresses, we see the track begin to take on a much more buoyant, upbeat tone near its closer: the liberation of moving on from painful truths and experiences we cannot change – moving forward instead of remaining stagnant, and turning our pain into a source of power that allows for us to grow. ‘On’ segues into a strong, vibrant beat steady and proudly self-assured, dotted with melodious and playful timbres that could easily be enjoyed on the dancefloor.

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Rating: 9 / 10

Feature Image: Kelly Lee Owens by Kim Hiorthøy