The music video for Sp8ce Owl’s single “70’s Somewhere”, the latest release from his new EP Quantum Fluctuations, is every bit as rollicking as its musical counterpart. It’s telling about the canny way Owl’s building his musical reputation with multimedia releases rather than contenting himself with music alone. It may seem a little pieced together at times from a variety of disparate sources, Sp8ce Owl does an outstanding job of bringing the vast majority of it together in a coherent form. Many passages, without question, definitely invoke the time period of the song’s title.
The music does as well. It is, perhaps, a bit incongruous to feature synthesizers in a track bearing such a title but Owl’s focus on melody instead of aural pyrotechnics accentuates the song’s essentially commonplace touch. There’s nothing about this track attempting to re-invent the songwriting wheel or break new musical ground.
It takes flight, instead, on sheer energy and compositional intelligence. It has measured pacing, never rushing the track, but its constant physicality will keep listeners involved. The gradual accumulation of sound during some passages and the dramatic rise and fall of the arrangement are highlights as well. Owl is always an extraordinarily competent songwriting for someone so soon into their career, but he’s shifted into another gear with this track.
The synths are the song’s primary vehicle. Owl understands how to use this often-misunderstood instrument and surrounds it with a bevy of supporting electronica. You can’t point to any obvious influences after listening to this single. Instead, Owl’s music practically roars with individuality despite never leaving listeners moored in unfamiliar territory. This is dyed in the wool EDM, though fully realized.
It isn’t difficult to imagine Sp8ce Owl soon topping this release. He’s riding quite a creative high with one full length release and two EPs to his credit. It’s a mildly astonishing pace for an artist who debuted last year, and his prodigious creativity hasn’t let him down yet. Make no mistake, Sp8ce Owl is writing and recording music for himself before anyone else and hoping we’ll follow along. It’s apparent we will and eagerly.
“70’s Somewhere” is a powerful release that works well as a standalone track or taken as part of an EP. It’s full of charisma, as well, an undefinable warmth that draws listeners closer and closer to the song with each passing second. You want to linger as long as possible in Owl’s musical world and anyone capable of creating such a response has at least one of the hallmarks for a long and meaningful musical career.
We will enjoy many tracks like this or better in the coming years. If your perception of EDM is that it isn’t capable of making a serious statement, Sp8ce Owl’s work will correct you of that error. He has released a work with “70’s Somewhere” that is capable of entertaining a vast swath of the listening public as well as engaging their minds and emotions. It is a potent combination in any form.