Thus Owls

Black Matter

Thus Owls core members used to play in art-pop musicians Loney Dear and Patrick Watson’s groups, but their sound is significantly artsier and less poppy. On this 6-song, 30 minute EP, they collaborate with members of Suuns, Bell Orchestre, and Icelandic classical composer Daniel Bjarnason (and Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s projectionist provides the album art). Their music falls pretty neatly into this scene, being led by Erika Angell’s strikingly Kate-Bushy voice and experimental string arrangements from Daniel Bjarnason. The general mood is gloomy, although things pick up a bit on the freak-folky “Shields”, as well as the single “Turn Up The Volumes”. 

Thus Owls sound pretty much like what one expects out of a Montreal indie band, but they’ve refined their sound to a point beyond their contemporaries and Bjarnason’s string arrangements provide a slightly more intellectual edge to a well-worn sound. 

If you like Kate Bush, Tasseomancy, or art-pop in general, you’ll like this record. 

- Topher Duguay

Published in Volume 70, Number 7 of The Uniter (October 22, 2015)

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