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Album review: Owensie<br/>Aliens<br/>(Out on a Limb Records)

Dublin-based Michael Owens emerges as a startling new talent with this wonderfully assured debut.

A predominantly acoustic affair, it showcases two key attributes -- a warm, engaging vocal and an ability to coax a languid, "watery" sound from his guitar, acquired, I'm told, from a charity shop on Francis Street.

Not for Owensie the temptation to add bells and whistles -- his songs, stripped to their core, are highly effective just as they are.

There's an obvious similarity with Jose Gonzales in the way he sings and the manner of his guitar-picking, but I don't think the Swede has delivered an album that's as consistently strong as Aliens.

There isn't a weak track among the nine here and a handful leave an indelible mark. Chief among them is the gorgeous Subtle Connections, whose strings-assisted coda is especially lovely.

After flitting about in a handful of go-nowhere-fast bands, Owensie has found his calling. Take a bow, Sir.

Burn it: Subtle Connections; Cat and Mouse; Aliens

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