Oct. 5, 2012 proved to be a day of excitement for experimental-pop group Thus:Owls. Not only was it the release date of their most recent album Harbours, but it was also a day of positive response from devoted fans. Erika Angell, a Swedish singer/composer is to thank for gathering this fragile and ghostly concept-band which came into existence just over three years ago. Since then, Thus:Owls have not sat still, touring extensively throughout Europe and North America.
The Angells (Erika and her husband Simon), Cecilia Persson, Martin Höper, and Olga Hultgren spent long hours in the French countryside recording all nine compositions for Harbours, and finally arrived at an album that they believe “straddles the world of fragility with cinematic intensity.” Decorated accordingly, with strings, percussions, and horns, Erika Angell’s voice (reminiscent of Julia Stone) glides over memorable tracks such as “I Weed The Garden” and a personal favourite, “Farmers In Japan.”
Thus:Owls’ eerie, ethereal sound seems to be grounded in their international influence, stretching from Sweden to Montreal. Unfortunately, their signature sound was missing in a number of the songs (“Museum” and “Roots”), and the sense of melancholia characteristic of their work was absent in almost half of Harbours’ tracks. In spite of the hit-and-miss nature of the album, the few enjoyable songs work well to relieve one’s autumn blues.