Owen is a solo project of Mike Kinsella, and part of the Chicago, Illinois indie rock scene.
Kinsella is one of the dominant and influential figures in the Chicago indie scene, having also led the band American Football, and played in the bands Cap'n Jazz, Joan of Arc, The One Up Downstairs and Owls, and most recently Their/ They're/There.
Owen is known for its soft melodies, complex acoustics, combining lead acoustics with keyboard and other guitars, plaintive vocals and drums. It can be seen as a natural progression for Kinsella, from the progressive and experimental severity of Joan of Arc via the more melodic-progressive American Football.
Owen's debut, Owen was a stark departure from previous Mike Kinsella projects. For 2002's No Good For No One Now, Owen's second album, an arrangement of purchasing recording equipment instead of studio time was agreed upon. In 2004, in collaboration with Cale Parks , Bob Hoffnar, Jen Tabor, and Paul Koob, Mike began recording again. What resulted was . The joint effort marked a turning point of sorts for Owen. Rumors began to swirl that a live band would be taken on the road for the first time but these rumors never materialized as Mike again rejoined Joan of Arc and became a touring member of both Maritime and Aloha.
had been written as a companion piece to a scheduled full-length. In summer 2004, Mike again began recording and collaborating, this time with cousin Nate Kinsella who lent assistance both on instrumentation and engineering. The results of these efforts were I Do Perceive, Owen's third album.
On At Home With Owen, Mike figuratively leaves the at-home bedroom that has characterized so much of Owen's past musical presence. His step away from bedroom recording allowed for an alternative approach to the songs recorded on at Home With Owen. "I've always hated how two dimensional the other Owen albums have sounded, and I think this one's finally got a third dimension," Kinsella says. The new approach to recording involved a fraction of pre-recording at Mike's mom's house, followed by sessions at Semaphore Studios with cousin Nate Kinsella .
In July 2009, Polyvinyl Records released The Seaside EP, a collection of Owen songs previously only available as Japanese bonus tracks, as well as a track from the Association of Utopian Hologram Swallowers".
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