Whilst Kelly Lee Owens’ name may not be too familiar within the electronic music sphere, her voice certainly should be, previously lending itself to Daniel Avery’s acid-infused debut LP Drone Logic. On Oleic, Owens continues her relationship with acid sounds, once again utilising her stylishly muted vocals as the perfect accompaniment to pounding electronic beats.
In CBM, the atmospheric EP opener, Owens hypnotically repeats “the colours, the beauty, the motion.” This abstract mantra, set amongst a pulsating bassline, clapping snares and a melodic acid breakdown, instantly displays the mesmeric quality of Owens’ solo style. The title track offers a more uplifting trajectory, with ringing chimes and soaring synth chords laying the perfect foundation for Owens’ intricate acid inflections.
The second half of Oleic offers a darker, heavier feel in the form of Kingsize and Elliptic. On the former, a rework of the Jenny Hval track, Owens fuses Hval’s hushed sultry vocals with a driving bassline and repeated handclaps to create an expansive club sound. Injecting scattered synth triplets, Owens adds a playful touch to her skillfully crafted remix. Elliptic sees the return of Owens’ own vocals, emerging amidst simmering synths and subtle acid shades. It’s ominous, yet equally as seductive, with Owen’s hushed whispers beautifully splintering into obscured echoes.
Whilst Owens’ slick productions and clever use of vocal samples reflect elements of Drone Logic, and perhaps in moments, Paranoid London’s self-titled debut from 2014, it is undeniable that Owens’ sound is distinctly her own. Weaving subtle pop details into lo-fi acidic techno tones, Oleic is original in its textures and style. A name now assigned to the voice, Owens has cemented herself as an exciting emerging talent for all to take notice.
Words: Georgia Tobin