Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Owen Pallett

Owen Pallett is a Canadian multi-instrumentalist whose (almost) solo act Final Fantasy is gaining widespread attention for its quirky and creative grounding. The first question you are asking yourself is "does this have anything(!) to do with that game series for Playstation also called Final Fantasy?". Owen explains that in an act of impulse he decided to name the act like the game he is a big fan of. You might consider that extremely unprofessional or plain stupid (since it confuses listeners and yields poor Google search results) but I think it is cute. If you want to read about horrible band names go here. Owen furthermore remarks that: "“Final Fantasy” is far more suitable than “Owen Pallett” because “Owen Pallett” is a Welsh-y name that suggests leeks, projects and ‘I’m the only gay in Aberfynn-Weldy.’ So Final Fantasy it is"

Pallett combines and juxtaposes classical instruments like violins with African drums and animalistic screams in order to create a clash of the civilized with the primal. It is not a novel idea, I am aware, but it is very effective in his case. Owen himself explains that "Final Fantasy songs are all about ghosts, romance, cooking, fantasy fiction and guilt".

The album I consider to be his best is He Poos Clouds from 2006.

Song Song Song: The song starts off with the characteristic drumming that is so refreshing about Final Fantasy. Owen's bland vocals blend in with the drumming, and there are screaming interjections in the song. The violin complements the track really well, and we obtain this bizarre higher order from hearing a combination of African drumming, screams and fine violin playing.

Many Lives -> 49 MP: The song is characterised by a serious modus operandi. Owen's vocals express great existential concerns:

Hey Timothy I wish for clairvoyance
I wanna see my wife and kids
And how I will live and how I will die
(Son you should!)

Pallett is not the first queer artist to be featured here, I also wrote about Patrick Wolf. On the topic Pallett writes: “As far as whether the music I make is gay or queer, yeah, it comes from the fact that I’m gay, but that doesn’t mean I’m making music about the sexuality specifically”.


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