WILLIAM PATRICK OWEN - "First Person Singular"
William Patrick Owen is most likely a time traveler from the mid 1960s British folk scene, that has become marooned here in our time. His quiet ruminations, brought forth by a throaty, folksy voice, are painted across a canvas of echoing background vocals and jangly fingerstyle guitar, sounding much like a lonely drifter, playing in a darkened allyway behind a bombed-out brick building that was once a beat poet hangout or a jazz club.
The latest release by WPO, First Person Singular, is a dreamy, smokey journey humming with sad, introspective musings and clever field recordings that capture the essence of playing ultra-philosophical ramblings in the corner of a coffee shop while nearly no one is listening. There is always, of course, that one person that is completely wrapped up in every single word, every tender falsetto vocalization, each finger-style flourish of the guitar, and that one person is why William Patrick Owen is really there. That one person in the room who really gets it is his real audience.
There are no catchy choruses or cheap thrills here – just an earnest folk musician, who is ultimately alone when surrounded, destined to be misunderstood, and most certainly will continue to write meanderingly hazy song poems that are like long deep breaths of wind between cold, vacant buildings in the fog. Like a slow, solemn river passing beneath heavy urban bridges and ancient temple arches, the melancholy magnetism of First Person Singular pulls the listener into its drifting current and saturates the very air with atmospheres of moody reflections, and, unlike the folk music from the time period from which William has come, there is no whimsy or fancifulness to be had. All is introverted self-explorations of the most detailed variety.
When the last notes fade away, and First Person Singular has finally played out its course, William Patrick Owen turns away, his sad eyes ever on the horizon, and catches the next train to another misty metropolis, where endless streets of pubs and tea-rooms await.