Friday, May 06, 2011


Owlet Music is a micro-indie based in Carmarthenshire, run by Owain from Trwbador (the duo’s “It Snowed At Lot Last Year” EP reviewed here in January). Out next week on the fledgling label is this bargain-priced compilation “Owlet Music Vol 1”. Most labels use compilations as a showcase of their roster; here for such a new enterprise the net is cast wider to include friends, associates, kindred spirits and internet finds alongside their one label-mate currently (Telefair) and Trwbador themselves in the shape of their 2010 Christmas song. It is a gleeful/wilful mix of the feisty, the fidgety and the fey – in some ways just like Trwbador’s own music? And it covers not just Welsh bands either: Japan and USA (via France) are represented by Meimei and Vera Gogh respectively.

Most familiar here will probably be Das Wanderlust providing two (unreleased?) tracks of hyperactive, noisy wonky-pop. Joining them in the feisty corner is Super Cute Voices (a possible sub-title for the album?) mixing chip-core beats with a Los Campesinos boy/girl shouting match with ‘Camera Shop’. More C86-leaning is the stuttering guitars and punk-pop chant of‘A-OK’ by Violas.

Acoustic-led, fey fare includes airy, plumy-voiced folk-madrigal from Francesca’s Word Salad and two gorgeous songs of wide-eyed innocence from Gintis side-project Telefair. Elsewhere the album is given over to hazy, cute-as-a-button electronica: glitchy but unhurried summery rhythms and beats from Landslide, Thingsmakeelectric and Jangle (who shimmer rather than, err, jangle) with sweet, cooing vocals soothing your ears where applicable. And then one of the best saved for a final twist: ‘Home Town’ by Vera Gogh – woozy passions and soaring harmonies with a punchy country-rock backbeat, like Sea of Bees putting on her best Lucinda Williams impression.

At first listen, the shifting moods and pace don’t appear to hold together but as you get to know its elaborate twists and turns it all makes perfect sense: less an introduction to a label than to an idiosyncratic but highly enjoyable world-view. Not even a year old as a label but already I do not want Owlet to grow up; rather to stay perfectly formed and softly plumed. The 13 tracks and 43 minutes of “Owlet Music Vol 1” can be streamed on Spotify or bought on CD direct from the label for just £5.

Until The Chain Comes Off by Telefair by owletmusic

07 Dig Deeper In Logic (Trwbador Re- by owletmusic

10 A-OK by owletmusic

Owlet Music Vol 1 [BUY]

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