Owlle – France review

OW2A few weeks ago, we had one of Owlle’s tracks as our song of the week, and as her debut LP was released last week, we felt it only fair to give it a little run-down on here. The French electro-pop artist is signed to Sony on her side of the Channel, and France comes out through Aztec Records (home to Bright Light Bright Light and Nina) over here. With news of live dates imminent, this eleven track release is bound to break her way into the scene in the UK.

The record isn’t the chaotic, electric infusion one might expect it to be; more so, there’s almost trance undertones ranging throughout the album. Each track lies at around three minutes, and almost any could be taken away from the LP, released as a single, and have its own place deservedly on Radio 1 Xtra, that’s the calibre and brilliance in each song.

The record opens with Fog fading in slowly, with the vocals apt not only for her own number one single, but to work with the likes of Calvin Harris; that said, the production and editing on every track means she could take her own pieces to the same success. Although this doesn’t feel like the best opening the album could have had, it prises the sound open. Again, Don’t Lose It seems to lack the vibrancy you may expect from such a style of music, with a soft touch to the edges.

Lie A Bow is one of the more mellow songs of the record with the sort of sound that envelops you, touching on creating a feeling of lethargy. This vibe flows straight into Your Eyes, a disarmingly romantic track dreamed up for slow dances and to wind off a night – the touching lyricism is moving in its simplicity, akin to that of Aiden Grimshaw, making it my personal favourite.

To put it lightly, Ticky Ticky is both one of the best and most irritating track I’ve heard all year – it pulls you in with smooth vocals, shocks you with its editing, repeats itself, and leaves you wanting to both sing along and turn it off; it’s fantastic. Creed jerks the vocals around in a disorientating manner, before the dancey beat of Silence mingles with captivating vocals, both leaving you wondering to what extent the voice has been edited on the tracks. If there’s minimal auto-tune, then it’s a voice of sheer brilliance.

If it’s not grossly unfair to say this, Disorder feels like nothing special, but the blast of imaginatively titled ninth track, 9, is enthralling. Serving as all-but an instrumental, this two and half minute snapshot grapples your attention prior to sentimental Free doing it’s bit as the token piano romantic. Moving lyrics make this feel a more apt close to the release than chosen My Light Is Gone, which would almost serve better as an album opener. It’s strange to choose a dancey number as a finale, but by this stage you’re left convinced she could pull off anything.

It’s a powerful record, with the sound and attitude to spark an instant love affair between the UK and French electro-pop scene.

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