After moving to London from her native North Wales, Kelly Lee Owens interned at XL Records and worked at trendy record shops across the city. A few years ago, she began contributing vocals to friend’s releases before moving on to creating her tracks as well as a Jenny Hval remix for “Kingsize”. Already in 2017 Owens snagged our coveted favourite song of the week spot a few months ago for “Anxi.”(!!) and the full self-titled album does not disappoint.
Owens eases into the album with two minimal ambient tracks before the cold wave intro of single “Anxi.”, featuring Jenny Hval on vocals, ups the BPM. There is a hands in the air moment when the beat on “Evolution” kicks in at the 49 second mark while “Cbm” is just a step behind in terms of getting people moving. The ghostly vocal of “Lucid” gives the track an icy ethereal quality.
The atmospheric album closers “Keep Walking” and “8” have enough of a pop feel that could qualify Owens as a more techno version of Grimes. Like Grimes, this debut touches on numerous styles (techno, ambient, pop, indie rock, etc) and excels in nearly all of them. An electronic album that crosses over to the indie rock world, this is one of the highlights of the first half of 2017.