Christopher Owens on pedal steel? Christopher Owens doing some scat singing? Christopher Owens busting out some Rogers and Hammerstein?
All, it would seem, are possible, given what the former Girls frontman told Hive by way of a forecast of what’s ahead for him as a solo artist. Owens, whose solo debut, a sentimental and wide-eyed account of 2008 globetrotting and romance called Lysandre drops next week, has made no secret of his desire to bounce from one musical concept to another, now that he’s jettisoned the band that put him on the map. Owens told us he’s got “many musical chapters” up his sleeve, and he got slightly more specific.
“I can tell you what albums I wanna make, and I won’t tell you which one will be next because I don’t know for sure, and I don’t wanna give it away,” he said. “But I can tell you that I want to make a classic jazz album, a classic country album, and a show tunes album.” Well then. Owens said in another recent interview with Pitchfork that one reason he parted ways with Girls’ old labels, indie rock imprints True Panther Sounds and Matador Records, was that they wouldn’t necessarily be the best fit for what he’s got on the way.
Given the twangy inflections in some Girls’ songs as well as on Lysandre, plus Owens’ avowed affection for Dwight Yoakam, Skeeter Davis and Taylor Swift, the country record is hardly a shocker. But show tunes? Still, the prospect of that plaintive, fractured voice tackling A Chorus Line’s “What I Did For Love” or “Being Alive” from Company? We’ll take it. And while we’re at it, the unabashedly romantic “I’ll Cover You” from Rent would make a fine duet for Owens and girlfriend Hannah Hunt. From our lips to their Broadway-lovin’ ears.
Meantime, Owens and his current band, which includes Hunt, will take their nattily dressed Lysandre show back on the road beginning next Wednesday in Chicago.
Look for a full Q&A with Christopher Owens next Monday.
Lysandre is out January 15 on Fat Possum. Stream it via the New York Times and stream “Here We Go” below: