If you are an EDM fan/devotee, Sp8ce Owl is a major new talent. His first EP release A Future’s Past hit in 2021 and served notice and that a forceful new composer in this style stood ready to make his presence felt. He followed it practically the week after (not really) with his full-length collection A Room Without Walls, a wide-ranging demonstration of his growing songwriting skills. There’s evidence of further growth throughout his latest single “70’s Somewhere”, the second song released from his new EP Quantum Fluctuations, and it packs the same wallop you’ll hear in much of his preceding work.
It is undeniably fresh. There’s nothing predictable or tired about the way Owl’s compositions unfold and that doesn’t necessarily mean they adopt breakneck pacing in order to make an impact on listeners. “70’s Somewhere” doesn’t ever run away from either Owl or the listener, but there is no doubt that the artist maintains a steady and relentless pace, albeit with plenty of shading.
His understanding of dynamics rivals any talented rock songwriter. He never pushes those elements too hard; the sound and style of the song is boisterous but never overbearing, and the dynamic shifts when they come are polished rather than jarring. The synthesizers will have an outsized role in the song for some listeners, most likely, but they actually help underline the light funky 70’s soul vibe of the song.
He never attempts to be too obvious about it. Owl’s restraint as a songwriter is remarkable in a genre where the lowest common denominator, spurring listeners to move, is often the sole measuring stick for a song’s success. The video he has crafted for the song does not always sync up with the song’s musical vibe, but it comes close enough in those moments. For the most part, however, the vivid eye candy present throughout most of the clip is especially fitting.
The titles of his full length and EP releases point toward a developing sensibility you hear in his music. Sp8ce Owl is likely to turn his music in a space rock/psychedelic direction, though EDM will always play a big role in the final results. There is an audience for this sort of material, without question, and he never presents his take on it in a cookie cutter or paint by numbers fashion.
Instead, his personality shines through. “70’s Somewhere” has a bit of wink lurking behind the song title as well, a playful recognition that the song’s inspiration is an all-out wallow in nostalgia, but he doesn’t care and you won’t either. It is a full-force romp with brains driving every second of the song and a willingness to stay in the listener’s face. It never crowds you, however. Rarely does a performer or songwriter explode on a scene with the concussive impact of Sp8ce Owl’s “70’s Somewhere” and you will finish this song fully confident that not only can he match its heights, but Sp8ce Owl has even greater peaks ahead of him.
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