Owls of the Swamp “Meteorite” (Labelship, 2016)

owls-of-the-swampWith the gentle burble of synths and hushed vocals, OoTS sound like they are floating in space. Listening to this leads me to imagine a scenario where they’ve prematurely awoken from suspended animation on a 100 year voyage to a distant galaxy and are contemplating their plight, knowing they will die before their companions awake and feeling nostalgic for a world they’ve left behind. ‘Meteorite’ is a bumpier ride, though it still sounds like a neutered version of The XX.

‘How Long Have I Been Sleeping’ – this space opera idea really does have legs – uses guitars to feather the song. A banjo lurks down a darkened corridor, and the guitars twinkle like (you’ve guessed it) a passing constellation. These are songs for late night solo listening, ideal maybe for a tour on the International Space Station, where you can be immersed, drifting; otherwise they just tend to slide by. You have to stop and really listen to unlock their subtle charms.

Author: David Cowling

Punk rock, Go-Betweens, REM, Replacments, Husker Du, Minutemen, Will Oldham, Smog, Whiskeytown, Ass Ponys but probably most of all Howe Gelb, led me on this journey.

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