There really is no time like the present. Owen, the longstanding solo project of Chicago music veteran Mike Kinsella, is gearing up to release his brand new album L’Ami du Peuple this summer. Owen has always dazzled listeners with his patented acoustic music complexities- a manipulated form of playing drawn from the spastic noodling of his former band (and seminal scenesters) Cap’n Jazz or the math rock repetitions of another past project American Football. For a number of releases, the Owen project felt as if it was the logical step for this style of music to be performed in a solo capacity. However, with the last few albums (personally, I would say starting from At Home With Owen), Owen’s output has felt richer, the songwriting has been more penetrating, the pieces, as well as the whole, seem more thought out and cohesive. In a way, the writing has caught up to the playing. I have no doubt that L’ami du Peuple, when it is released, will be the strongest Owen album yet, especially based on the record’s initial pre-release offerings – from the album with “Bad Blood” and from three of the four songs in our session “Love is Not Enough,” “I Got High,” and “Who Cares?” The present finds Kinsella at the high of his creative powers (and busy too, as he also drums in a new grammar conscious band Their/They’re/There).
True to the project (or perhaps because it is expensive to schlep around a backing band), Kinsella often performs and tours solo. It is in this lonesome configuration though that Owen’s saturnine lyricism and guitarwork feel most effective and intimate. It is captivating to behold in a tiny chapel, an concert hall, or here, in this Folkadelphia Session, which we recorded on March 21st, 2013 at the XPN Performance Studio.