Kelly Lee Owens has apparently elected to skip making her third by seventh albums and proceed on to quantity eight. The post-physical period of the music business evokes gambits like this, from retail mixtapes to 20-minute albums, and Owens’ is likely to be probably the most outlandish since A. G. Prepare dinner dropped two “debut” albums, one after the opposite. However it works for LP.8, an imagined dispatch from the way forward for the Welsh artist’s profession that feels each like a left flip and a fruits. It’s simple to think about a sequence of albums by which Owens—unguarded and going through the digital camera on her self-titled debut, haunted and hair-hidden on 2020’s Interior Track—slowly abstracts into the silver blur on the quilt of this one.
Owens’ work could be chilly and steely, but it throbs with an undercurrent of spirituality. LP.8 doubles down on each of those elements and finds methods they will work in tandem. The low finish is exaggerated till each kick drum or sub-bass tone blurs and shakes all the monitor, and at occasions the album approaches such a high-volume, high-pressure excessive that it feels like she was attempting to make the new-age Yeezus or Daytona. (Her co-producer was Lasse Marhaug, whose work on Jenny Hval’s The Observe of Love tried an identical mind-body unison.) Probably the most awe-inspiring monitor is “Anadlu,” the place Owens conducts a respiration train over the meanest kick drum of the 12 months. “Breathe,” she instructions in Welsh, filling the margins with inhales and exhales as if to set an instance, because the kick kilos away with mechanical ferocity. It’s just like the reverse of the life-sucking machine from The Princess Bride, a system of nice weights and pulleys working, on this case, to heal the listener.
Interior Track was Owens’ most full integration of her sound’s techno and pop poles. Of the 9 tracks right here, solely “One” has something like a hook, and even that music dissolves into repetitions of cryptic phrases midway by. As an alternative, Owens prefers to make use of her voice as a rhythmic factor, as on opener “Launch,” or as a operating commentary of sighs and whispers that sound like plumes of smoke drifting between Brutalist beams and pillars. Talkier tracks like “Quickening” and “Sonic 8” are midway between guided meditations and the brainy techno-missives of AGF or Marie Davidson. “Divide and conquer,” she repeats on the latter, stretching the final syllable with playful vocal fry, as if questioning what it’d be wish to flex a bit of energy for a change.