Welsh producer and vocalist Kelly Lee Owens goes deep on this week’s FACT mix.
Kelly Lee Owens hadn’t intended to be a musician. A decade ago, she was working as a nurse on a cancer ward in Manchester and thanks to some existential advice from her patients (“they had this unique perspective,” she explained to The Guardian last year), she moved to London in search of a different life.
The relocation paid off; after a few years working in record shops and playing bass in now-defunct indie band The History of Apple Pie, Owens collaborated with dance producer Daniel Avery, providing vocals for three tracks on his acclaimed Drone Logic full-length. Soon, she was piecing together her own tracks using Avery’s impressive array of analog synthesizers and releasing tracks like the euphoric, Björk-influenced ‘Lucid’ and the cinematic ‘Uncertain’.
Last year, Owens released her self-titled debut full-length on Norway’s Smalltown Supersound label and acclaim followed quickly. She also become as notorious for her energetic, engaging live shows – she impressed at MUTEK in Mexico City last year despite suffering from laryngitis – and has spent the last year performing across the globe.
Owens’ FACT mix highlights some of her influences, from the neon-blasted crunch of Aurora Halal and Karen Gwyer to Helena Hauff’s warehouse-primed electro and Prins Thomas’s clipped disco. It’s the ideal compliment to last year’s full-length and hints at what might come next from Kelly Lee Owens.
Kelly Lee Owens – ‘Bird Sample’
Maleem Mahmoud Guinia & Floating Points – ‘Mimoun’
Aurora Halal – ‘Sunlight’
Karen Gwyer – ‘Why Does Yr Father Look So Nervous’
Helena Hauff – ‘$§”$43’
New York Transit Authority – ‘Dinner and Corsica’
Stenny Andrea – ‘See the Time Gate’
Falty DL – ‘Frigid Air’ (O’Flynn Remix)
Kelly Lee Owens – ‘Bird’ (Prins Thomas Diskomiks)
Midland – ‘Rephlex’