Kelly Lee Owens Inner Song Smalltown Supersound
Kelly Lee Owens is fascinated by frequencies: healing frequencies, meditative frequencies, even the frequencies that need a little more room when pressed on vinyl. Inner Song, the follow-up to her self-titled 2017 debut, will be released on three sides, to give the frequencies the space to sound exactly as they’re intended. Inner Song builds on the rich, self-assured blueprint that Owens established in 2017. That is, marrying ethereal pop melodies with deep, ambient techno and weightless synth pads.
This record follows a period that Owens has described as the hardest years of her life. Opening track Arpeggi, a Radiohead cover, marks Owens emerging from the darkness, a phoenix rising from a droning sub bass carried by warm arpeggios. Over ten tracks, Owens looks inward (finding, literally, her Inner Song) and outward, with lyrics that cover variously loving yourself before you can love another (On), reconnecting with nature (Re-Wild), and society’s obsession with instant gratification (Wake-Up). And then there’s Melt!, a four-to-the-floor banger that samples the sound of melting glacial ice, and the sound of people skating on ice – attesting climate change on the dancefloor. It’s in these moments that you see Inner Song for what it truly is: a mesmerising and spectral sophomore effort, where Owens captures the sweeping landscapes of her inner world.