Girls’ Christopher Owens Announces Solo Debut, Lysandre

Christopher Owens, the ex-frontman of recently disbanded rock duo Girls, announced his debut solo LP. Titled Lysandre, it will be released on January 15th in the U.S. and January 14th in the UK. Its narrative presents “a coming of age story, a road trip story, a love story.” It follows Owens’ previous trips to San Francisco (when Girls was on the rise after their 2009 debut Album), NYC, and the French Riviera (where he fell in love with the name ‘Lysandre’). Owens continues: “Lysandre could easily be mistaken as an album about a love affair. But it’s much more than that.” The album was spontaneously written, and recorded with former Girls producer Doug Boehm.

The two tracks available for streaming, short opener “Lysandre’s Theme” and second track “Here We Go” (above), play like medieval jaunts injected with Girls’ melodic rock edge. Owens initially touts a seductively sly whisper, a Jarvis Cocker comparison made even more evident by Owens’ witty displays of romantic reflection. A tender harmonica mid-way through brings listeners back to Girls’ expected sound, especially when followed by a concise yet soaring guitar solo. The pretty woodwinds return, but they take a gently accompanying role rather than hogging the spotlight. It’s the same production technique that made Jens Lekman’s new album, I Know What Love Isn’t, an enjoyable one. Lekman and Owens have plenty differences in style, but they share an astute sense of how orchestral constructions should correlate with fluid rock and pop arrangements.

The two efforts are I also love the part when Owens signs “Carolina, southern carolina, listen to me sing New York City,” a definite ode to Girls’ stunning Broken Dreams Club EP, which remains my favorite release of theirs. Listen to the EP’s genius closer, “Carolina”, if you haven’t already:

MP3: Girls – “Carolina”

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Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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