Goddamn if this album isn’t beautiful. From the moment it begins, with three twinkling strikes of a xylophone, Owel’s dear me is a gorgeous, sweeping ode to the power of beauty in music. Each song across the album’s 66-minute runtime brims with tenderness and passion; when, for instance, vocalist Jay Sakong sings the titular syllables of ‘Pale Soft Light’ during that song’s bridge, the words are delivered with such warmth and delicacy that it borders on onomatopoeic.
But there is, of course, more to beauty than elegance. On dear me, Owel diversifies accordingly. Songs like ‘I Am Not Yours’ and ‘Annabel’ – whose lyrics are dark – are both powerful and bold while ‘Not Today’ is rhythmic and pulsing. And yet, throughout every song on dear me, the lingering sense of beauty and wonder remains.