Kelly Lee Owens (2017)

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Fluctuating between dream pop and sublime minimal techno, Kelly Lee Owens debut arrives after years of production and collaborating with others. Recommended.

Carlotta's Portrait (Ross), Monday, 27 March 2017 19:25 (three years ago) link

I like this a lot.

Le Bateau Ivre, Monday, 27 March 2017 19:28 (three years ago) link

wow i like this a lot

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Monday, 27 March 2017 20:52 (three years ago) link

lmao sorry to just repeat the content of lbi's post, it's been a long day

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Monday, 27 March 2017 20:52 (three years ago) link

Even a short day would be good to repeat my content Brad :)

Le Bateau Ivre, Monday, 27 March 2017 21:04 (three years ago) link

i had thought about starting this thread. thanks ross, you were faster. great stuff, love her voice and the different electronic and/or rhythmic flavours coming with it. very atmospheric music. reminds me a little of julia holter, who tends more towards classic songwriting. this is lighter, less pensive. something i always love about musicians, she has her own sound which definitely has a dreamy quality.

it's the distortion, stupid! (alex in mainhattan), Monday, 27 March 2017 21:37 (three years ago) link

"throwing lines" is my favorite upon first listen. there are some truly gorgeous moments on this record.

joshywinty (josh), Monday, 27 March 2017 21:48 (three years ago) link

So happy to read this discussion. Kelly Lee IRRC is from the same scene as Braids and Purity Ring, so some of these tracks which are older ("Lucid") do have that kind of feel. But I think she's still unique in her sensibility

Carlotta's Portrait (Ross), Monday, 27 March 2017 22:03 (three years ago) link

otm, it's about time music journalists focused on dream pop and sublime minimal techno

millwallreptile (Noodle Vague), Monday, 27 March 2017 22:06 (three years ago) link

I mean this was designed for me

boxedjoy, Monday, 27 March 2017 22:39 (three years ago) link

^ so good

Carlotta's Portrait (Ross), Monday, 27 March 2017 22:48 (three years ago) link

So glad somebody started a thread on this; the record is sensational.

"S.O." is maybe my favorite album open of the year so far, and that stretch between "Lucid" and "Keep Walking" (i.e. the bulk of the album, I guess) is just fantastic.

Only track I'm really not feeling is "Arthur," and it's placed in such a position of prominence (artists tend to place their best/favorite track second on an album) that I feel like I'm missing something.

Evan R, Monday, 27 March 2017 23:50 (three years ago) link

Here's a total gem not on the album, btw:

Evan R, Monday, 27 March 2017 23:51 (three years ago) link

^ Love that track, too bad it's not on the album :)

Correction about a previous post upthread: Kelly was never part of the same scene as Purity Ring or Braids, she's british. It just seems she was making music back in the day that fell in with those flavours.

Carlotta's Portrait (Ross), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 05:31 (three years ago) link

four months pass...

This album is awesome

josh az (2011nostalgia), Sunday, 27 August 2017 04:57 (three years ago) link

...this is my favorite record of the year, and I don't see anything topping it. Yep.

dronestreet, Sunday, 27 August 2017 20:07 (three years ago) link

Love this album so much. It's like the dreamiest moments of the Hannah Peel album but as a sustained vibe.

Tim F, Monday, 28 August 2017 08:15 (three years ago) link

this is really great

had assumed "kelly lee owens" was a new modern country singer

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 1 September 2017 16:13 (three years ago) link

Haha so did I initially

This is my new bedtime album

Tim F, Friday, 1 September 2017 19:34 (three years ago) link

My current AOTY too. Wish I could describe its appeal better; I have a hard time selling it to people who haven't heard it

Evan R, Friday, 1 September 2017 19:38 (three years ago) link

Grimes if she had leaned into (rather than away from) the SAW 85-92 resemblances after Visions?

Tim F, Friday, 1 September 2017 19:46 (three years ago) link

that's an appealing description tim but so far i'm underwhelmed

the late great, Friday, 1 September 2017 19:47 (three years ago) link

i found a sealed copy of this on vinyl for like six bucks.

nomar, Friday, 1 September 2017 19:59 (three years ago) link

insane deal nomar :)

Week of Wonders (Ross), Friday, 1 September 2017 21:29 (three years ago) link

"Lucid" stands as a fine mission statement for this album, I think. It's essentially a psychedelic/dream pop album with forays into minimal techno/house. It's not as laser focused on the dancefloor as the prior EP was, and all the better for it. Perhaps this divides some people on the record, as it's in between?

Week of Wonders (Ross), Saturday, 2 September 2017 02:24 (three years ago) link

probably! i feel like i should be into this because of the techno thing but i don't much care for dream pop

the late great, Saturday, 2 September 2017 02:33 (three years ago) link

Hi late great - maybe check out the EP then? :-)

Week of Wonders (Ross), Saturday, 2 September 2017 08:21 (three years ago) link

which one ross? i see three on discogs

i've heard oleic, that was more my speed for sure

CBM is a jam

the late great, Saturday, 2 September 2017 20:14 (three years ago) link

Oleic yeah

Week of Wonders (Ross), Saturday, 2 September 2017 20:48 (three years ago) link

Grimes if she had leaned into (rather than away from) the SAW 85-92 resemblances after Visions?



the late great, Saturday, 2 September 2017 21:13 (three years ago) link

The colours the beauty the motion
The colours the beauty the motion
The colours the beauty the motion
The colours the beauty the motion

josh az (2011nostalgia), Sunday, 3 September 2017 05:23 (three years ago) link

I really like this album a lot but I also think its a little underwhelming in spots. It relies on a very limited palette of sounds and it could do with a little bit more colour. "Lucid" and "CBM" are great moments but I'm not sure she quite gets the dynamics of dance euphoria - "Bird" in particular feels like it's pushing for some kind of rush but it just feels unfinished.

I've seen her post a few mixes where its clear she adores Tiga, and her vocals are all over the Daniel Avery album - I get the impression she likes that kind of sparse, lumpy, analogue techno a lot. I'd love to hear her apply this dream-pop ethereality to more maximalist influences.

boxedjoy, Sunday, 3 September 2017 10:48 (three years ago) link

good post boxedjoy.

I find it interesting she mentioned sound as a therapeutic vehicle in the pitchfork interview. The textures on this one do feel pretty healing, like the side-chained breathing on "Arthur" and its wobbling bass. The Oleic EP was more in one vein and in some ways I find it more hypnotizing and its sonic limits work more for me.

Week of Wonders (Ross), Sunday, 3 September 2017 18:59 (three years ago) link

This LP is okay.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Sunday, 3 September 2017 19:08 (three years ago) link

Ross have you ever heard this? It's a little more club-functional than this album but it's basically what I kinda hoped moments on this album would coalesce into resembling.

boxedjoy, Sunday, 3 September 2017 20:20 (three years ago) link

Love KiNK.

Tim F, Sunday, 3 September 2017 21:08 (three years ago) link

good track

Week of Wonders (Ross), Sunday, 3 September 2017 21:09 (three years ago) link

Bits of this album really remind me of that Pluramon album that had Julee Cruise on it. I like it better than that though.

plp will eat itself (NickB), Monday, 4 September 2017 23:47 (three years ago) link

^ oooh, love that album. If Time Was On My Side rules

Week of Wonders (Ross), Monday, 4 September 2017 23:56 (three years ago) link

two months pass...

Still my favorite album of the year. The fakeout on "Bird"—the lush intro, then the abrupt pivot when the bass kicks in—is such a glorious trick. It's such a minimalist album, yet she's hidden Easter eggs all over it.

Evan R, Friday, 1 December 2017 20:54 (three years ago) link

two years pass...


sombrerodetuned (sombrerodetune), Tuesday, 25 February 2020 14:17 (one year ago) link

ooooh, john cale guests

bold caucasian eroticism (Simon H.), Tuesday, 25 February 2020 14:44 (one year ago) link


brimstead, Tuesday, 25 February 2020 17:41 (one year ago) link

"Melt!" is fun

Indexed, Tuesday, 3 March 2020 20:05 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

new one "On" is really good:

dip to dup (rob), Wednesday, 24 June 2020 22:08 (eight months ago) link

two months pass...

New album is *chef’s kiss*

josh az (2011nostalgia), Friday, 28 August 2020 06:14 (six months ago) link

Yeah great album! Was not expecting a Radiohead cover in there and it's actually surprisingly decent. 'Flow' reminds me of another song too... aphex twin maybe?

It's very natural sequel to her debut but you can tell how much she has grown as an artist from one album to another. She doesn't sound constrained about working with loops at all.

highlights on first listen: on, night, flow.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 28 August 2020 06:27 (six months ago) link

Wait, what? I need to spend more time on Spotify because this was an artist that Spotify Hipster Boyfriend was really very seriously "you *need* to hear this!!!" about, until I loved the first album. I feel remiss in not being on Spotify as much, to realise there is a new one and if it's got RH and AFX references I should be all over that!

Extractor Fan (Branwell with an N), Friday, 28 August 2020 08:14 (six months ago) link

LOL, I just looked at my Spotify Hipster Boyfriend Release Radar and yes, he's all "COME ON THERE'S A NEW KELLY LEE OWENS ALBUM AND ALSO DID YOU KNOW AVALON EMERSON HAS A NEW TRACK COME ON COME ON GO LISTEN GO GO GO!" and now I feel bad for not paying attention.

Extractor Fan (Branwell with an N), Friday, 28 August 2020 08:16 (six months ago) link

30 seconds into Melt! and I'm like "aw, yeah, this is what I wanted!" - then realise that it was a single and I had listened to it quite a bit and faved it when it was still a preview.

The mixture of extremely hard/minimal beats and very soft, cut up and mixed about girly vocals reminds me of Nost-era Ellen Allien in a strange but exciting way?

Extractor Fan (Branwell with an N), Friday, 28 August 2020 09:40 (six months ago) link

Really love this!

The one with John Cale comes *very* close to turning into Disintegration-era The Cure right before he switches to Welsh, no? At any rate, they should do a full-length collaboration; their voices would sound nice together on the same track

rob, Friday, 28 August 2020 12:21 (six months ago) link

wow "Wake-Up" is a gorgeous closer

rob, Friday, 28 August 2020 12:33 (six months ago) link

Was going to say how much this remimds me of Pluramon and then I saw I said the exact same thing about the last one. Sounds like a stronger album on first pass though, some really gorgeous moments

Defund the indefensible (NickB), Friday, 28 August 2020 18:25 (six months ago) link

Just finished a first run through the new one, really liked it.

It's lovely.

Gerneten-flüken cake (jed_), Friday, 28 August 2020 23:13 (six months ago) link

Been bingeing this all weekend, it's great. I love the mixture of instrumental and vocal tracks, and the John Cale track works well.

so good

Roz, Monday, 31 August 2020 02:23 (six months ago) link


Indexed, Monday, 31 August 2020 22:07 (six months ago) link

new album is great

learned lasagna (||||||||), Thursday, 3 September 2020 20:31 (six months ago) link

Never heard of her until she showed up on my FB feed the other day doing a live set on something called Hör, as in German for hear or listen. I’m a new fan.

ABBA O RLY? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 12 September 2020 02:09 (five months ago) link

Again parts of this are really nice and delicate but there are times I find myself wishing it would ramp up a little more. "Jeanette" is wonderful, reminds me of those Oni Ayhun singles

boxedjoy, Sunday, 13 September 2020 14:23 (five months ago) link

I liked her debut, but this one is just wonderful. Echoes of Dubnobasswithmyheadman here and there, or so it seems to me.

hey, trust the fungus! (pomenitul), Thursday, 17 September 2020 15:04 (five months ago) link

one month passes...

hadn't spinned this yet for some reason and felt very dumb about 30 seconds into "arpeggi" that i waited for so long lol

la table sur la table (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 11 November 2020 20:27 (three months ago) link

yeah you know pretty much immediately what you're gonna get and that it's gonna be really good

Tim F, Wednesday, 11 November 2020 23:16 (three months ago) link

i love the sequencing. the cooldown tracks arrive just when they're supposed to

la table sur la table (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 11 November 2020 23:25 (three months ago) link

three months pass...

Inner Song is beautiful. Had it on repeat the whole afternoon.

Van Horn Street, Saturday, 20 February 2021 00:09 (two weeks ago) link

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