Ask me how I heard of bands like The Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, Metric, Beirut, and I could tell you wonderful stories (to me, at least), and describe the emotions I first felt when listening to an album like Funeral, or sitting in music class one sunny day appreciating "Nantes". But when it comes to Owen, my listening experience, and love for his music, comes in a bit of a blur, only fitting when considering the complexity and layers of artistic merit behind his music.
I must have really gotten into him around the time of Heartland - I'm pretty sure I listened to that album pretty soon after it came out, but I had heard some other songs before then. Final Fantasy was a name that kept popping up, and my first exposure could have been the famous YouTube cover of Mariah Carey. I was not only entertained, but amazed by what I felt like (and still feel like) was a very intricate performance. All those loop pedals - wow!
So, I've been listening to Owen since. I've read a few posts on the forum here and there, but the music video for "The Great Elsewhere" was the catalyst for my joining this forum. It made me rediscover how beautiful the song was, how beautiful Owen's compositions are - I mean wow, just wow. What an amazing song, and beautiful video. I was fortunate enough to see Owen perform at Osheaga, both with Thomas and The Arcade Fire. And I'm still pissed at those sound guys. "Lewis Takes Off His Shirt" will never be the same for me. (Fortunately, The Antlers did one hell of a job adjusting the sound at the same stage the next day.) A friend was going to take me to his Montreal show last winter, but it sold out. Here's to future shows though, and more music!
I was going to see Sufjan Stevens at the Sydney Opera House in January, and so incredibly excited as he is my one and great true musical love.
My boyfriend and I are just sitting there in the second row centre, Im bouncing up and down with excitement waiting for Sufjan, annoying the shit out of those around me. This waifish barefoot man in a purple swirly t-shirt and glitter on his face walks out with a violin. I'm like "Oh cool, soundtest guy"
Mind. BLOWN. I spent the first three songs sitting there with my mouth hanging open, completely stunned. The music was just amazing, the amount of sound that could come out of this one man and his violin and synth. Where was the drumkit coming from? The bass? How on earth was he producing that beautiful, amazing vocal range and tone? I didn't even catch his name at the time.
After the concert was over, (Sufjan was also fucking awesome) we were waiting outside to meet him and Owen came out with part of what he described as "Sufjan Stevens and the motherfucking awesome troop of badasses", I asked where I could get his music. His smart ass reply was "Record stores? Illegal download?"
Well, a couple of weeks later, after being unable to find his albums in record stores, I took up the latter option! One day I'll buy them, promise. Meanwhile, I've become quite obsessed, reading through every interview I can find instead of studying for my final year of highschool!
Quite some time ago, I think maybe 5 or even 6 years ago, my sister gave me a mix CD for my birthday present that included Song Song Song. I really liked the song and listened to it way to many times when I was I think around 8 years old. However, I never, for some reason, wondered who was playing this. It was just this one amazing song with deep intense drums and lush and dense strings that was just on this crazy mix CD that I'd play in the car on the way to elementary school.
6 years after that (about February this year), my sister visited us from University (she went to Concordia in Montreal my family and I live in Vancouver) and one day on a drive going to whistler she played one song from Heartland. I still don't remember what that song was but I asked her who this was and she said Owen Pallett. I said Owen who? She explained how he used to be called Final Fantasy and how it was on my birthday present 6 years ago and how she saw Owen in Montreal and didn't know what to say so she asked him for directions to the bagel store........(lol)
This was shortly after I had a recent obsession with anything that uses tons of instruments especially strings and obsession an with Sufjan Stevens (I also thought Sufjan Stevens was fucking awesome and I'm not really sure how this is related)
So I went to HMV downtown Vancouver and bought He Poos Clouds and downloaded Play to Please EP, immediately recognized Song song song and then I fell in love with This Lamb Sells Condos. Wanting more, I bought Heartland. At first, it seemed like just a blur of music which my mind was incapable of taking in. So I returned to obsessively listening to He Poos Clouds and Plays to Please.
After a couple weeks of that I had all Owen's music so far in a playlist and used the shuffle function on my ipod. Then I came across Lewis Takes Action. The song I immediately found its way into the car speakers and any speaker I owned and played on and on. This was my new favorite song and (arguably) my favorite song still today. After that I went to the Shawnigan Lake rowing regatta and brought my Ipod with me as there was tons of time to kill (races were far apart from each other, and I only raced two times the entire weekend). Using the Shuffle function again, I came across Lewis Takes Off His Shirt. I thought that was really good too!!
From then on the rest of the Album soon became my most valued possession and one of the only things I listened to and the greatest thing I have ever listened to. The Great Elsewhere blew my mind (it was extremely cool to me how the song was inspired by Magellan and his time in the Philippines, because I do have filipino heritage ) after I thought it was boring when I never gave that piano riff a chance a month prior. I watched almost every single live performance of Lewis Takes Action on youtube, watched tons of interviews and learned This Lamb Sells Condos on the piano.
After discovering the awesomeness of Heartland, it plagued every car ride I could play my music on as well as my speakers in my room. 3 times a week, I would wake up at 4am to get to my rowing practice, get in my car for a 20 minute ride to where I rowed and always played Owen's music (Lewis Takes Action I'm pretty sure has been played thousands of times). I'd always listen to the songs from Heartland during our horrible indoor 6 kilometer rowing machine tests. So I guess it was his words that drowned out the sound of the rowers not the other way around ( )
So now I have all the music I could find by him and purchased the scorebook (arriving in some time). Suddenly I regret quitting Violin at the age of 7 from the brief half a year I played it. I plan on arranging some stuff so I can play it on my piano (the only instrument I play now) and sending off some photocopies of the score to our very open minded Director of Music at our school so I can perhaps get our Chamber Orchestra maybe coupled with one of our choir programs (hopefully the senior) to play some of Owen's songs at an assembly or two or maybe even our performances at the end of the year.
So there it is. TL DR: Song Song Song was on a mix CD then I rediscovered and became absolutely obsessed 6 years after. And I am very mad I missed him playing at Signalfestthis year
(SO PLEASE COME BACK TO VANCOUVER AGAIN hehe)
And I still can't get that chromaticish scalish thing at the end of This Lamb Sells Condos :/
Keep up the amazing work Owen! And I still can't wrap my head around how incredibly amazing and lush Heartland is. Now I feeling slapping my old opinions in the face