The Owls

The Owls

The Owls

Daughters and Suns

Magic Marker

Magic Marker Records put out two of my favorite albums these last two years: The Faintest Ideas’ What Goes Up Must Calm Down and Fred Thomas’ Flood. Both of these discs are awash in haphazard recording processes and a rough immediacy that feels both endearing and genuine. The Owls’ Daughters and Suns comes from a radically different school of thought on the songwriting and recording process, but at its highs, it hits almost as many heartstrings.

The group divides up writing and singing duties fairly equally among three of its four members (the drummer is the odd man out) and each contributor has a distinct aura ringing out from their material. Allison LaBonne turns in slightly frosty and austere numbers like “The Way On” and “Welcome to Monday” which owe a heavy debt to Nico’s stint in the Velvet Underground. Brian Tighe wears his love for psychedelic-lite era of The Beatles unabashedly on his sleeve on “All Those in Favor” and “Channel”. Maria May delves straight into upbeat twee for her tracks “Peppermint Patty” and “Isaac Bashevis Singer”. There’s beauty to be found on any given track, but because of the obvious influences in some cases, the songs tend to lack that tinge of originality that could set them apart from the rest of the pack. This disc is a solid effort from a very talented band, but hopefully future albums will see them more comfortably finding their own three-part voice.

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