Vocalist, violinist, composer, keyboardist, and all-around fascinating guy Owen Pallett stopped by WNYC Radio's Soundcheck yesterday for an interview, as well as live performances of three tracks from his upcoming album, In Conflict, due for release May 27 via Domino/Secret City.
The first track in his live performance (listen at the 1:22 mark) is "Song For Five & Six," which he calls "kinda like the catalog piece" for the album. The multi-layered song features plucked strings, Pallett's soft but direct voice, an energetic beat, violin riffs, and shrieking electronic interjections riding over fast arpeggios. Maybe the most impressive thing about it is that it's entirely a solo work, loop after loop created through pedals. "It's got everything," says Pallett.
Next is "I Am Not Afraid" (at 16:44), a more intimate, lyric-driven affair centered on Pallett on piano and lead vocals. Here it's the backing vocals, by Matt Smith and Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek, that really highlight the song's beauty.
Rounding out the session is "Soldier's Rock" (at 21:37), featuring Pallett on violin, vocals, and pedals. Smith provides support on guitar and backing vocals. This song finds a middle ground between the previous two, rhythmically driving but somewhat gentle, a bit ironic considering its theme of ruthless capitalism (as discussed in Pallett's recent interview with Pitchfork), conveyed by lyrics like "pick up the bayonet / run it through the stomach of your brother."
In the interview Pallett also discusses electroacoustic music from the 60s and 70s, the influence of Brian Eno as well as queer culture on In Conflict, straddling the indie rock and classical worlds, and his film composing -- like on Spike Jonze's Her, which was recently nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score.
Finally, check out the video released for "Song for Five & Six" and the album cover for In Conflict below:
Source: WNYC Soundcheck