Owen Pallett - 'Island'

8/10

Since the release of their stunning 2014 album 'In Conflict', a lot has changed for composer and producer Owen Pallett. They have since earned an Oscar nomination for their film scoring work on Spike Jonze’s 'Her' and an Emmy for Sølve Sundsbø’s 'Fourteen Actors Acting', not too mention providing a wealth of arrangements for the likes of Frank Ocean, Taylor Swift, Christine & The Queens, The National and many more. But their ambition to get back into their solo work clearly found its way to the forefront of their mind once again, and they return with their first solo outing in six years, 'Island'.

Released with no notice whatsoever, this surprise collection largely sees the artist return to their soaring and ambient ways right from the very beginning. While they do offer up their sweet and sensual voice on occasion, much of this new release is an instrumental affair that looks to aid a sense of grandeur to the times that we are living through. While recorded long before the coronavirus lockdown came into effect, 'Island' still has this dark and uncertain atmosphere to it. Wrapped up in a wave of solemn piano, strings and keys all looking to add their own delicate touch to the compositions, this new release rises and falls with such an elegant grace, it quickly becomes an all-consuming collection demanding every ounce of your attention at once.

Owen Pallett may have found their high-demand a welcome distraction to their usual work, but it is clear see that their own material is what we should have been demanding all these years. 'Island' is an exquisite and beautifully produced full-length that sees them return with some of the most passionate offerings of their career so far.

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