Artists of the week: Christopher Owens
Once upon a time there was this kid named Chris who was raised from tender ager in the austere climate of the Children of God cult, travelling with his family throughout Asia and Western Europe. One day, by accident, he caught a peak at American pop culture on TV and immediately fell in love with rock’n’roll. Shorty before his birth, his infant brother Steven died of pneumonia due to the reluctance of the church’s members to seek professional medical assistance, so it was obvious that he would have to run away in order to pursuit his dream of being able to live only thanks to his art (either as a painter or as a musician). Things happened pretty quickly afterwards: at 16, he came back to the States; at 24 he moved from Texas to San Francisco to play on streets and bars; and by the age of 28 he started write, record and release the two full-length albums (plus an EP) that would make to this day the spotless discography of Girls, one of the most beloved North American indie bands of the new millennium.
Though it is hard to tell truth from fiction in this fascinating story, one thing is undeniable: when Christopher Owens announced that he was breaking his indie duo in pursue of a solo career, the expectations were tremendous. Nevertheless, both 2013’s Lysandre and 2014’s A New Testament felt like minor works that indulged into 70s AM pop and Country music without reaching the apex of Girls canon.
Last week, Christopher Owens released a surprise album titled Chrissybaby Forever and any fan only needs to listen to it once to realize that not only it is by far his best solo record to date as it manages to sound like the very natural next step for a singer-songwriter whose talent seems thrives again thanks to his newfound minimalistic approach.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.