Owen - The Seaside EP (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


The Seaside EP (2009)


While Owen's The Seaside EP collects a number of songs spanning a few different releases (mostly Japanese release bonus tracks), you pretty much get what you'd expect here: whispered acoustic songs with pretty layers and Mike Kinsella's double-tracked hush.

The longest song opens things, with the seven-minute "Heads Will Ache" dating back to Kinsella's self-titled record (2001) -- though it should be noted that this is apparently just an early version of "Everyone Feels Like You," which surfaced on Owen's No Good for No One Now the next year. There's a ton of space on this track, with Kinsella's signature delivery of deliberate pauses in full effect. Next up is a trio of songs from the I Do Perceive era, 2004, but the transition isn't too jarring. Kinsella is just a little more emphatic in his delivery, though not quite as pleasingly versatile as he is in, say, the heartbreaking "Who Found Who's Hair in Who's Bed." His blatant honesty heightens the tension a little in the 'live' version of "In the Morning, Before Work"; "I listen to my same old CDs: New Order and Morrissey. / But you already know that, / 'cause you used to drive around with me. / ... / You used to crawl in bed with me the morning before work. / Put your hands on my back, / kiss the back of my neck."

A cool surprise is the cover of Extreme's "More Than Words." Hearing that familiar hook is funny, but it totally works in Owen's standard setting. The last few songs, which are most recent (At Home with Owen bonus cuts and a song off a recent Polyvinyl comp), are listenable though kinda passable.

Not a bad holdover, but if New Leaves is as solid as At Home With, I'll be happy.