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Album Review

Owen – The King Of Whys

Owen - The King Of Whys

Intimate and intoxicating.

Label: Wichita
Released: 29th July 2016

Rating: ★★★★

Were it not for Mike Kinsella, the Northeastern US scene (and indeed its many uprising emo darlings) would be little more than a speck on the musical map.

From American Football to Their / They’re / There to his one-man-band moniker of Owen, Kinsella’s native Chicago has always hosted the immortalisation of his many projects. But for his eighth solo full-length, relocating to Wisconsin and taking a deep breath of brisk winter air has allowed Kinsella to embrace some of the textures that have previously taken a back seat.

In both the harrowing thudding of war-drums that leads opener ‘Empty Bottle’ to ‘Settled Down’’s more meticulous and mathematical rhythms, the percussive layers on this record are testament to Kinsella’s eloquent technical ability. ‘A Burning Soul’ offers a folksy light at the end of the dark and lyrically cathartic tunnel of ‘Torniquet’, before ‘Saltwater’ slips into a simple sense of serenity.

‘The King Of Whys’ is a far more expansive record both in terms of its personnel and its palette of sounds, but it still has the intimate and intoxicating charm that allows Owen to consistently burrow deep into your soul and invigorate your most tender of feels. Danny Randon