As with many artists who released music into the depths of lockdown, Kelly Lee Owens found herself with a canceled tour and no commitments. Keen not to lose potential time and space for creativity, The London based Welsh producer and singer decamped to Oslo, Norway, the hometown of her label Smalltown Supersound, and promptly locked away to begin working on more music.
The resulting album, ‘LP. 8’, her third overall, trades in most of her dream pop sensibilities for industrial tones and shimmering synths no doubt reflective of living in a city of stunning natural beauty during the depths of harsh winter. It’s also more ambient leaning than previous work (it would be surprising to hear these tracks getting much club attention, unlike older tunes like ‘Melt!’ or ‘Jeanette’). Instead, vocal pieces ‘Olga’ and ‘S.O (2)’, both recall Björk’s (an oft-cited hero to Owens) work with Howie B and Mark Bell on 'Homogenic'.
That isn’t to say Kelly Lee Owens’ music has gotten any less physical, to the contrary, ‘LP. 8’ is louder and more experimental than previous work; with contributions from longtime Norwegian experimental and noise artist Lasse Marhaug (who, aside from being born north of the Arctic circle, has decades of experience making some of the harshest sounds imaginable). Highlights ‘Voice’ and ‘Sonic 8’ will be a surefire test for any club or festival sound system to really prove its worth, and the cold, menacing techno of ‘Release’ sounds a bit like the insides of a power station working really hard to keep a city warm. That said, if you don’t have the huge rig needed to do these tunes justice, and with the days outside just getting warmer, it might be a tough sell to sit at home and curl up with ‘LP. 8’.
Words: Louis Torracinta
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