Single of the week: Owen – A New Muse

by Philip Moss

As the lead singer in a cult group, the solo project can be a strange thing – and one which can often carry huge weight. But for a long time, after the release of his first record with American Football, Mike Kinsella’s Owen project has been his main gig – and upcoming album, The Avalanche, is his tenth release under the moniker.

As with his last record as Owen, 2016’s The King of Whys, Kinsella has once more worked with Bon Iver band member, S Carey – and it’s clear to see why. From the shuffling acoustic guitar that opens A New Muse, its inventive drums and thoughtful guitars pack the track with clever melodies and ear worm flashes, which crawl away before they fully embed. It’s a beautiful production that captures the heart of Kinsella’s searching narrative, and perfectly backs his his Roddy Woomble-alike lilt. The snow covered Wisconsin studio where the record was made most definitely seeping right through to the song’s gentle, understated core.

Without the person or personified force who provides the source of inspiration to a creative artist, music fans can be left without new music from their favourite performers. But who or what the muse is here is irrelevant. What is important is that A New Muse is a song to go and get lost in, and makes The Avalanche – due out on 19th June – a very exciting proposition.

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