William Patrick Owen: First Person Singular
WPO brings you a fresh bite of Neo-Folk, when listening to his debut album ‘First Person Singular’ there’s a lot of experimental vibes going on with a twist of apocalyptic folk. He draws on a rich heritage of 60s style fingerpicking folk guitarists like Nick Drake and Bert Jansch and applies to it an updated dreamy melancholy, creating introspective soundscapes with a deeply psychological lyricism.
The album opens with the flickering strums and raucous vocals of ‘Settle Down’, soothes with the longing of ‘Lilac Thunder’, internalises with the guilt-ridden ‘Homme Fatale’, and mellows to a naturalistic hum on ‘Dionysus and Apollo’. The first songs are invigorating and life-affirming, with a hint of punk; this dissipates into songs you could cry, sleep or simply relax to.
The singer-songwriter grew up in South East England and being just a skip away from London say’s he was almost living in a bubble. As his twenties hit and he step foot into the ‘real world’ the bubble seemed to burst causing an eruption which ironically helped to create the musician that he is today.
Owen has recently been influence by the likes of James Blackshaw and Six Organs of Admittance. As he first put pen to paper Jeff Buckley was a major influence and in terms of his more acoustic and calming approach to music, Grouper and Juliana Barwick could be recognised for his more ambient style.
The album is inherently biographical and not; idiosyncratic and accessible, it is a sharing of the songwriter’s entire self but an expose of the common modes of being in postmodern life. Williams acoustic mindset to such deep meaningful matters is quite different to what is out there at the moment. I feel many will be able to relate with his music, I admire the boldness of some of the lyrics and the album has a sense of free speech, at times it is shocking but leaves you wanting more. It is music that begs to be listened to carefully.
Below: Check out First Person Singular via Spotify.