When I hear “Owsley,” I think of a mad British doctor, handing out pure LSD like a priest tossing off blessings. Owsley is also the one-name of this outfit’s songwriter/singer/guitarist; I’m not sure if the two are related, but the image fits well. Owsley’s musical burg could be said to lie on the road between Self and Ben Folds Five, but if anything, this lies squarely in the county of richly melodic Southern pop that these acts (and many others) are rushing into.

According to web site legend, this eponymous debut has been languishing for a couple of years, waiting for a label as intrepid as Giant to release it as-is. Overall, it’s an amazingly catchy collection of songs, simple in their sound but each unique. The opening “Oh No The Radio,” with its chopping guitars and bouncy hooks is what I would pick as a single, were it not for its dead-on lambasting of the medium. “Sonny Boy” could easily pass as a Ben Folds Five song (a good one, too), with its stomping piano line, unexpected melodic twists and river of chocolate chorus. A brilliant record, highly recommended.

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