Smalltown Supersound (2020)
Kelly Lee Owens' masterful second album Inner Song finds the convention-blurring techno producer and singer/songwriter diving deep into her own psyche-excoriating the struggles she's faced over the last several years and exploring personal pain while embracing the beauty of the natural world. It's a leap in artistry from a musician who burst forth on the scene with a confident, rich sound, and Inner Song is endlessly enticing when it comes to what Owens is capable of.
Inner Song was largely written and recorded over a month last winter. As with her debut, Owens holed up in the studio with co-producer and collaborator James Greenwood - and letting loose in the studio and being open to whatever sonic whims emerge was essential to Owens' craftwork. The evocative title of the album is borrowed from free-jazz maestro Alan Silva's 1972 opus, which was gifted to Owens by Smalltown Supersound's Joakim Haugland for her 30th birthday: "I'm so grateful for him and his perspectives - he's always thinking outside of the box. Those two words really reflect what it felt like to make this record. I did a lot of inner work in the past few years, and this is a true reflection of that." The hair-raising bass and tickling textures of Inner Song drive home that, more so than ever, Owens is locked in to delivering maximal sonic pleasure - as evidenced by the decision to make the album's vinyl release a sesqui album, or triple-sided album: "I'm still obsessed with frequencies that don't do well on vinyl if they don't have the space."