Favorite-of ’11:: Wake! Owl Wild Country EP

Unfortunately, music blogging has evolved from promoting the bands we love to an analytical activity that makes standard cybermetrics feel like casual bar room conversation. Ratings, pageviews, hypem rankings; all of these things are all well and good, but music isn’t a scientific measure. EPs and LPs aren’t built on coefficients and derivatives. They are built on connections.

 

And truthfully, I haven’t connected with a new artist like this in many, many moons. I can’t tell you why Wake! Owl, a relatively unknown song writer from Vancouver, won me over on first listen or why the Wild Country EP has been on repeat for the last few days. All I can say is it’s fantastic, and I can’t stop listening.

 

People might think it’s the hint of Conor Oberst in the vocals (“Grow”) and the surprisingly detailed arrangements Colyn and his friends built, but I don’t think that’s it. I haven’t listened to Bright Eyes in years, and usually too many layers is the kiss of death for me when it comes to rootsy/folk. Colyn doesn’t come off like a young kid trying to recreate a hip sound or over think the process, and if you told me these songs were written in a vaccuum, I wouldn’t be shocked.

 

These songs have too much heart to be faked. They are scrappy and determined. The slow surge of the EP is inspiring. The hint of strings on the title track is so subtle and tasteful (they never overstay their welcome or try to feign importance). “You’ll Never Go” grows from a simple (albeit catchy) foundation into a surprising anthem.

 

Seriously, I love every song on this EP. Instead of searching for flaws, I blindly ignore any that might be present. Even in a collection of highlights, it’s the two closers that really show the potential of the young Vancouver resident. “Grow” invites you in with a few acoustic strums, but it’s the adventurous percussion and organ that really makes the song. “Seaside” manages to be soothing, but never boring and shows a playfulness you don’t often get from folkies. The band even adds some spacey textures to help you float along with the melody.

 

Wild Country is an unexpected joy, an unearthed treasure. Colyn had a vision for each song and took the time to develop them fully without losing the free spirit that makes them successful. I’m not sure what’s next for Wake! Owl, but the promise this EP shows is off the charts, and more importantly, these songs deserve to be heard today. Download the EP now. You won’t be sorry.

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MP3:: Wake! Owl - Grow

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MP3:: Wake! Owl - Seaside
WEB:: http://wakeowl.com/

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Tags: Wake! Owl

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 17th, 2011 at 10:10 am and is filed under 2011, Best-of '11, Canada, Music, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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