Navesink artist Ross Owen released his excellent second album Seed back in May but never had a proper release show. That is being corrected on Saturday December 14th at Water Witch Coffee in Highlands. In addition to Owen & the Tribe playing songs from Seed and previous album Sylvænus they will also be breaking out some new material.
Seed is an album that grows on you with multiple listens just like the plant depicted starting to grow on the album cover. “Love Thy Sister” is a great opener that blends spacey synth with gorgeous acoustic guitar to create a breezy, contemplative tune. The bouncy “Pollen” continues the good vibes with a song that utilizes elements of early 90s indie to nice effect.
“Cheese Fry” is a clear stand out that sounds a bit like G. Love crossed with Oasis. It an infectious hybrid of 90s pop and Britpop that I find hard to resist. Yum indeed. See also “REDED” for and excellent example of this combination. On later numbers like the haunting and melancholy “Beneath the Seat” and the 8 minute multi genre hopping “A Seed Between Your Teeth” Owen displays a maturity beyond his years.
Owen, who recently signed on with 3143 Management, has a chameleon like voice with lots of registers that is at times gritty, lilting, pleading and always passionate. This is certainly an artist to keep your eyes on. Give Seed a listen then head over to the show on Saturday to catch this rising star.
I had the opportunity to ask Owen a few questions.
What was the inspiration behind the songs on Seed?
The inspiration of the songs off Seed were all from many different specific things, whether that be personal or bigger picture topics. A lot of them share the idea of people not being perfect and how we are all in the same boat as each other. I was in my last year of high school while writing this album and realizing how similar but at the same time unique all of my peers were. We were all graduating high school together but afterwards going our separate ways following our own interests, although many headed to college. This made me want to live my life in the moment and appreciate the small things around me, like music, nature, cheese fries, the list goes on. Long story short, the album Seed is about accepting oneself and their imperfections and enjoying life to the fullest with no regrets.
What about the local scene makes it special?
The local scene is so special because of how tightly knit the musicians are together. Everyone is playing at all of these cool little spots along the Jersey Shore and connecting with new musicians, and with social media we can all connect and keep up to date with each other after the first time meeting. There are a lot of musicians out here writing great songs, but it doesn’t feel competitive in any way which is awesome. Everyone’s accepting of each other and supports one another, it really couldn’t be a better place to grow up playing music.
Plans for 2020?
As of plans for 2020, my band the Tribe already have a couple gigs booked for January locally. We also will be breaking out into some uncharted neighboring cities to play shows and are potentially lining up a small summer tour up the East Coast. It’s all in the air but definitely would love to make it happen.
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