Mike Kinsella made a name for himself with his work behind the kit for Cap'n Jazz, Joan of Arc and many other revered Chicago art-core projects. With his solo project, cheekily named Owen (perhaps to conceal his history and the connection to his indie-famous family of older brother Tim and cousin Nate), the singer, songwriter and guitarist proves himself to be a moving, misty-eyed purveyor of bedroom pop and prickly pillow talk. With beautifully interweaving guitar figures that border on baroque, layers of lush atmospherics and an understated-yet-confident vocal delivery, Kinsella's quiet, caustic kiss-and-tells are the perfect antidote to Dashboard Confessional's lachrymose laments. Fans of Matt Pond PA can't help but dig Owen's subtle, indirect approach to emoting; like Pond, Kinsella manages to gracefully bare his soul without bludgeoning his listeners with his sensitivity. On top of that, on the just-released At Home With Owen, Kinsella pulls off both a faithful Velvet Underground cover and a lyrical reference to Gabriel García Marquez without seeming silly or pretentious. That alone is worth the price of admission.
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