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Future Is Now: Kelly Lee Owens

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Future Is Now: Kelly Lee Owens

For our regular Future Is Now column we profile the hottest artists who are climbing the charts, breaking the Internet or just dominating our office stereos.

SOUNDS LIKE: A hushed exchange outside a pounding club

FOR FANS OF: Early Grimes, Arthur Russell, Massive Attack’s “Teardrop”

WHY YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION: Welsh-born Kelly Lee Owens began working in a cancer treatment hospital while still a teenager until patients and doctors urged her to chase her dream of music. Owens soon worked as an intern at XL Records, played bass in indie rock bands and took a job at a record shop, before she fell in love with the analog gear at co-worker Daniel Avery’s studio. She began focusing on her own emotional take on electronic music. Her track “Arthur” recently soundtracked an Alexander McQueen runway show.

SHE SAYS: “People at the end of their lives would tell me, ‘If this is what you dream of, don’t be like me regretting what you didn’t do, go do it’,” Owens says. “When I’m in the studio, writing and producing, it feels like absolutely what I’m supposed to be doing. I feel most at peace.” An indie rock fan, Owens at first assumed that dance music was easy to make and didn’t respect it. That perspective has changed, but she still works with analog gear instead of plug-ins. “I felt that there was something a bit more emotive that could be coaxed out of electronic sounds. I wanted to bridge that world to where the human and meditative element comes through.”

HEAR FOR YOURSELF: The ethereal “Throwing Lines” is percolation like Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser meets the Chicago house of Mr. Fingers. 

 

Topics: Future Is Now   Kelly Lee Owens

 
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