Owen Pallett Excites Me

danieltalsky | Albums,Reviews | Monday, March 8th, 2010

Owen Pallett – Heartland

I've never heard an Owen Pallet album before, but I really am enjoying it. I listen to about 5-10 new albums a week, often in the background. So, when one really jumps out at me after only a couple of listens I know it must be special.

I had heard it once and knew it was a "pretty album" so I put it on in the background as my girl and I lounged in bed. About midway through, I started thinking, oh wow… this album is something!

It is indeed a pretty album, and almost suitable for lazing around in bed with. (Like Real Estate, which I'm going to review next) but Owen doesn't just let his lovely singing and orchestration just meander along. He likes some catharsis;  he lets his songs swell into big, beautiful affairs that just fill you up.  Swells of wind instruments, string instruments and some impressive percussion all swirl up around his vocal themes, which sounds maybe as much like a Beach Boy than anything else. What's awesome though, is how he also mixes traditional orchestral instruments with more experimental electronic music sounds.

I always heard about but not heard Owen's other musical project: Final Fantasy, which he had to drop for obvious licensing issues, once he started to get big, but I fully intend to go back and listen now.  I also found out he wrote some of the arrangements for Arcade Fire, The Pet Shop Boys, and Beirut's The Flying Club Cup, which I also found totally inspiring.  (In fact, if you've never seen this Take-Away shows video of one of their songs, it's very worth taking the time to watch.)

This album might challenge you a little if you like mostly muzak, and might seem too poncy if you like tougher music.  But, for me, I don't even know what a single song is truly about yet and I love it.

I picked three songs in sequence that represent the part of the album that first thrilled me. See what you think.

First, my favorite… Oh Heartland, Up Yours:  (indeed)

[audio:http://thesweetsnob.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/1-07-Oh-Heartland-Up-Yours.mp3|titles=Owen Pallett – Oh Heartland, Up Yours!]

Lewis Takes Off His Shirt:

[audio:http://thesweetsnob.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/1-08-Lewis-Takes-Off-His-Shirt.mp3|titles=Owen Pallett – Lewis Takes Off His Shirt]

and Flare Gun:

[audio:http://thesweetsnob.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/1-09-Flare-Gun.mp3|titles=Own Pallett – Flare Gun]
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