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Kelly Lee Owens Inner Song

Building on the unique blend of tech-house and pop that began on her 2017 self-titled album, Kelly Lee Owens furthers her rich crossover sound on Inner Song.

Released: 28 August 2020
Inner Song

There are a handful of other successful artists around that mix hard dance music into their pop tracks, but you'd be hard pushed to find any that go this hard into the extremes of techno while retaining all their pop sensibilities.

Making the interesting choice to open with a churning and thrumming instrumental reworking of Radiohead's 'Arpeggi', Owens effectively showcases her sound via that simple, iconic chord sequence. Then we're grabbed by the forthright vocal melody of 'On', a track which slowly transitions from dreamy pop into driving beats, always retaining strong melodicism. 'Melt!' then works the template from the other end; it's a pumping banger with descending synths raining down over pounding kicks.

In contrast, 'Re-Wild' pulls the tempo back for a sultry, soulful groove, the simple hooks immediately sticking with you after just one listen.

There's no denying that Owens is gifted as both a tech-house producer and a pop singer-songwriter, and whilst some tracks move from one end of that scale to the other, some straddle the gap in between and stand up next to the big hitters in melodic electronic music. 'Jeanette' calls to mind Belfast duo Bicep; 'L.I.N.E.' fully embraces the dreamy, synthesised wash of Purity Ring; 'Flow' even borrows some vibes from Aphex Twin.

There are a couple of misfires; 'Corner Of My Sky's strange male-vocal journey is a little overlong, and 'Night' is the one example of the two sides of Owens' sound seeming shoved atop one another somewhat haphazardly. On the whole though, the different strands on Inner Song are tied together by brilliant song structuring and a truly joyous set of sounds.