Kelly Lee Owens often speaks about wanting to find power through her music, and in nowhere is this truer than her intimate and expansive second album Inner Song. Across its ten tracks, the Welsh producer brings forth an intelligent, nuanced blend of techno and dream pop, whilst also letting her own voice shine out. Recorded over just a month, Inner Song reflects the deep and protective world Owens has created inside her head to cope with a world swirling with uncertainty, anxiety, and chaos. Each drum kick and textured synth shimmers with a personal intimacy, and amongst the soundscapes of Inner Song, the listener feels completely taken in.
The album constantly shapeshifts, and with each listen each track throws up something slightly different. ‘Corner of My Sky’ is a strange, poetic paean to the Welsh landscapes with the Velvet Underground’s John Cale, ‘Arpeggi’ is a minimalist take on the famous Radiohead track. Certain moments on the album seem deceptively simple, but on closer inspection are instead drenched in symbolism. Album closer ‘Wake-Up’ is like this, with glistening strings speaking of a natural world drowned out by a culture of intrusive technology and instant gratification.
There cannot be discussion of Inner Song without mention of ‘Melt!’, the dazzling jewel in Owens’ crown. A self-confessed ‘techno banger’, the track is also frighteningly complex – containing samples of glaciers melting and humans literally skating on thin ice, it’s a cathartic and emotive response to the impending climate crisis. Inner Song is a glorious exploration into the beautiful insides of one woman’s mind, a wondrous moment of serenity and peace produced in reaction to the troubled times we live in. When it seems like the world outside is crumbling to oblivion, sometimes looking inwardly is all you can ever do.
Header image: Sarah Stefeford