OWEL is comprised of Jay Sakong (lead vocals, guitar, keys), Nunzio Moudatsos (vocals, bass), Seamus O’Connor (vocals, guitar, keys), and Ryan Vargas (percussion).
The band’s third full-length album, Paris, was released on March 29, 2019. The album was co-produced by Sakong and Gates vocalist, Kevin Dye. Paris is the follow-up to their breakout second album, dear me (2016), Every Good Boy (EP, 2015), and the band’s debut, self-titled full-length (2013). Featuring delicate, dreamy vocals, elegant string arrangements and a tasteful touch of electronic elements throughout, the band has created a truly stunning sound that is all their own and simultaneously feels classic and modern. On Paris, dramatic crescendos and dynamic soundscapes weave behind ethereal vocals, gracefully leading listeners on a phenomenal sonic journey of reflection, curiosity and contemplation.
“When we made these songs, the only true guidelines that we had in place were that we wanted them to sound bigger than anything we’ve done before, and that we wanted the overall palette to be super organic. While we dipped our toes into the world of synths and drum machines with the last record, this record was more about us diving back into a more lush, orchestral sound. Even if a song had lots of synths, we wanted those elements to sit and blend with the string section so that it felt like one big warm blanket pulled over the song. Anytime we would even think about using a synth to fill a space in a song, we would try to find a way to make something organic do the job instead. I don’t think I’ve even seen a French horn in person before making this record. It’s a funny looking thing.”
To date, OWEL has shared stages with the likes of Minus the Bear, Foxing, Mae, A Lot Like Birds, and Northern Faces, as well as having performed at festivals such as Firefly, Gentlemen of the Road, SXSW, CMJ, and Northside Festival. The band has also been noted as a band to watch by Pitchfork, NPR, Grantland, Noisey and more.