There is a din of twittering, yet it’s not from my newsfeed, but from the first signs of spring and the fluttering of guitars from New Jersey-based band, Owel. Set to release their debut full-length album on April 2nd, Owel offers eleven tracks with a distinctive sound, gracefully glazed with the familiarity of some bands I’ve come to admire over the years.
In contrast to the weather outside, I was first glittered with the presence of the track, “Snowglobe.” Immediately, it reminded me of the serenity that Jónsi (Sigur Rós) creates with soft vocals and various, intense string instruments – except – it’s all written in English; I can appreciate the narrative of a song a little more than guessing what the Icelandic words mean. However, not every track on the record possesses this trance-like quality. “Scales,” for example, carries with it a very California essence, similar to indie band, Gold Motel.
My favorite aspect of Owel has to be how each title reflects the overall atmosphere of the song itself. “Float,” is a perfect example. The imagery I conjured while listening to this track was very fanciful. It may be me having read too many Harry Potter books lately, but I swear there are swirls of magic soaring past me at each blink.
Honestly, my fondness for this record is starting to show, which means I could break down the elements layer-by-layer and give you an in-depth review bursting with comparisons. However, I don’t think that would suit Owel justice. They are a band of their own, having combined the basics from the likes of ambient, rock, and pop music to establish their own sense of musicianship within the community. In listening to this record, you will find yourself picking at your moods and assigning a song to each side of yourself; there is an assortment of emotions ripe for the picking. Whether you are feeling angrily bestowed upon by tragedy (“Death in the Snow”), or contemplative and calm (“Reborn”), Owel is there to lead you by the ears.