Kelly Lee Owens has released her second album, following up her self-titled debut in 2017. That project garnered the London-based musician some much deserved attention in the electronic scene. Inner Song shows us that she was not wasting any time honing her craft since then. Both producer and lyricist alike, Owens gives a vivid image of her versatile artistry, all bundled up in a 10-track package.
The opener, “Arpeggi,” features some very playful synth arpeggios, followed by popping snares, making for a fitting overture previewing what is to come throughout the entire album. No matter the song, the production is fantastic and infectious, each track having its own merit as to why. “Melt!” is an undeniable house hit, while “Form” is more laid back, containing pulsating synths and casual percussion. There are plenty of production styles throughout, whether techno, house, IDM, or dream-pop—all of which come together to make for incredible electronica as a whole.
While about half of the album is purely instrumental, the other half of the songs also feature vocals from Owens. One absolutely cannot deny the beauty of her voice. Her soothing falsetto works perfectly alongside her instrumentals. Songs like “On” and “Night” showcase her stunning voice while later transforming into club bangers in the latter-half of each track. Her lyrics cover topics such as depression and loss, and how it is okay to be alone when one is healing. She said the producing of this album was a therapeutic experience in itself, one that aided her along the long path that is the grieving process.
This album is easily one of my favorites of this year for a litany of reasons. As a whole, Inner Song is a cohesive spiritual journey. The closing track “Wake Up” provides a powerful conclusion that is blissful and liberating. It feels like the soundtrack to the discovery of one’s identity and purpose—a necessary awakening for a forward transition towards an understanding that one once thought impossible.
Recommended If You Like: Jenny Hval, Björk, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Grimes
Recommended Tracks: 8 (Night), 2 (On), 3 (Melt!), 10 (Wake-Up)
Do Not Play: None
Written by Griffin Lowry on 09/04/2020