Record Label: Turnstile
Simple, sweet and fun, Christopher Owens' pop classicism becomes a musically illustrious narrative on his debut
There were telling signs that at some point in his career Christopher Owens would indulge in a solo project. San Francisco slack poppers Girls’ were always his baby in terms of the song writing impetus, and his overwhelmingly heartfelt and sensitive ruminations on love were straight out of a budding poet’s handbook.
“Lysandre”, his debut solo album, is not worlds away from Owens’ former work in Girls. In that band he carved out a distinctive niche as one of the most prolific modern writers reverting to old- school pop song craft, and on “Lysandre” he pushes those tendencies as far as they can go, to the point that they are almost always inescapably cheesy. However, the record is still eccentric, short and sweet, and like all of Girls’ work, follows a touching and heart reaching narrative.
“Lysandre” follows the tale of a girl of the same name who Owens had a brief affair with when Girls visited France on their first tour together. “Here We Go” is full of lushous acoustic arpeggios and Owens’ blatant hints at what’s in store as he coos “If your heart is broken, you will find fellowship with me.” Similarly blissed out moment “A Broken Heart” is lovelorn, supposedly from the point of view of his band members, as Owens venomously writes “I wish it had never happened, ‘cause all you cared about was that girl.” “Everywhere You Knew” is a sleepy, romantically beautiful ditty full of classic Owens’ romanticisms like “we lay in the park until the same came up.”
“Lysandre” certainly can’t be considered original or revolutionary. Owens’ code of conduct that he has written for himself when it comes to the art of pop song writing seems to be rigid. However, “Lysandre” is littered with charmingly simple prose and often gorgeously expansive orchestration and is firm ground for Owens’ no doubt ambitious if simply charming vision.
Key Tracks: Lysandre, Everywhere You Knew, Part of Me (Lysandre's Epilogue)
For Fans of: Mac Demarco, M. Ward, Girls