CMU Approved

Approved 2017: Kelly Lee Owens

By | Published on Tuesday 19 December 2017

Kelly Lee Owens

Every day this week, we’ll be looking at the last twelve months for one of our favourite artists of 2017. Today, Kelly Lee Owens…

I always approach the debut album release of an artist whose early tracks I really liked with mixed feelings of excitement and trepidation. Excitement that they might deliver an album that truly makes good on that early promise. Trepidation that they only actually had a couple of really good tracks in them.

Thankfully, in the case of Kelly Lee Owens, who delivered her debut album in March, she falls about as far into the former camp as is possible.

Clearly I’m not alone in my love for this album. She has many cheerleaders eager to lavish praise upon her work. Meanwhile, in interviews, she comes across as incredibly thoughtful about her music, both in its creation and how she translates her own worldview into it.

Merging spiritual with danceable, the mesh of beats and densely layered vocals creates an immersive sound that feels like you could float upon it. Tracks from earlier releases are peppered throughout the album, including her debut single ‘Lucid’, which more than two years later remains astonishing.

Aside from Owens’ own voice, Jenny Hval also appears on one track – ‘Anxi’ – delivering one of the album’s standout moments. It also provides a neat throughline to Owens’ career – her remix of Hval’s song ‘Kingsize’ being one of the first tracks that got the producer more widely noticed.

Watch the video for album track ‘Throwing Lines’ here:

Listen to (almost) ever artist featured in the CMU Approved column in 2017 on this Spotify playlist.