Whilst pondering the true meaning of headphone zonking, mental multitasking brought forth another thought. Do some performers actually seek obscurity? I don’t mean musicians on the margin like Mama Baer either, but artists who might just jump into the perception path of the masses or, perhaps more profitably, on to the soundtrack of the currently trendy American television drama.
Take the case of She Owl as an example. Some might think that, on the surface, She Owl seems to have followed the path of obscurity rather than the proverbial yellow brick road to profit and, whilst this self-titled album is certainly not the kind of music that might be classed as a soundtrack to the jolly capers of the Las Vegas crime lab, it does have the unmistakeable stamp of intellectual trendiness stamped all over it. Listen, for example to the waterfall hypnotism of “Decembers”. Here we have a song that displays ethereal characteristics as if the flow was everything and even more important than the end of the journey yet it might just be enough to warm the soul in commercial terms.
A reinvention of the nocturne leads a good few of the songs found within the confines of this album – “Behind The Stars” is a case in point - in apparent simplicity but always and forever in the right place. In addition, I would imagine that even vampires – whether of glamourised television or conventionally fantastical -would see She Owl as straying, on occasion, too far into the shadows of self-obsession for she is not so much the sound of the soul that is lost as the sound of one that has no clear purpose. Somewhat edgier and direct however, as such things go, is “Over The Bones” and that song nudges primitiveness into the something almost medieval but, once more, this is the ghost of a past feeling as She Owl is certainly less of then than the here and now.
If you are looking for a place in the musical pantheon to catalogue She Owl then she would have to be filed next to Caethua. Whilst considerably more polished and not as far into the forest of despair, She Owl portrays much the same paradigm of urban alienation and illusion but with a certain hypnotic, and eternally forward facing, precision. This self-titled album is a sinuous entrancement.
The album is available from Bandcamp.