For French 20-something, Owlle, music is a way to tell stories, a way to embrace freedom and other worlds, and very much expose two sides of the same coin. In Owlle’s world, the things that initially seem quite different from one another can often reveal themselves to be quite closely interlinked. As an arts graduate, on her debut album France, she continually demonstrates that visual art can be as much an influence over recorded output as other sounds themselves can. Having experienced her own light bulb moment at one of Brian Eno’s audio-visual installations, the effects were apparently long lasting; “I’m not sure if I’d ever have dared to start a musical career if it wasn’t for the rush I got when I discovered one of Eno’s audio-visual installations at an art fair. It was called Quiet Club and the way sound and visuals interacted truly fascinated me.”
An atmosphere of contradiction within music is never far from Owlle’s mindset either (“I like mixing different or even antagonistic atmospheres”) and it’s these more mercurial traits that have earned her comparisons to others such as, Chairlift, Lykke Li, Bat For Lashes and Grimes. The signposts can be followed on tracks like Ticky Ticky, with its toe-tapping melancholia and fizzing electronics. or on forthcoming single, and album opener Fog, which somehow manages to feel both claustrophobic and free at the same time. Of the record, Owlle has said that often “there’s the notion of someone running incessantly after something”, and it’s perhaps the pace of Fog that sets this tone for the rest of the album. Whatever her motives, France bursts with ideas, leads the listener through darkened corridors, and manages to capture that most illusive of pop virtues; Style and Substance. Owlle has both to spare.
Leading into the UK release of France, Owlle has bothered the top of Hype Machine with remixed versions of her own tracks (most notably cuts by St Pepsi and Maelstrom, Moonlight Matters), while Owlle herself has remixed the likes of Sia and Depeche Mode. Further tracks have featured on mixtapes for i-D, Under Your Sun was featured as one of Daytrotter’s Best Songs of 2013 and she has gone on to support artists like Sebastian Tellier and Phoenix on tour. 2013 saw her play at Lovebox and feature at various discovery festivals in Europe, including The Great Escape, Eurosonic, Reeperbahn and China’s own Strawberry Festival.