Olivia Jean

Night Owl

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Olivia Jean takes the production reigns on Night Owl, her second solo album. Arriving a full five years after her 2014 debut Bathtub Love Killings, a record where she played nearly every instrument but found herself produced by Third Man Records head Jack White, Night Owl maintains an allegiance to all the groovy sounds that powered her first album. It opens with the chime of a 12-string guitar that bends itself to fit a surf-twist riff, and soon descends into squalls of fuzz, thundering tom-toms, and nods to girl group and bubblegum, along with the occasional wink to campfire country. It's a sound that's firmly within the Third Man wheelhouse, but Olivia Jean doesn't quite follow a blueprint scrawled by Jack White. Jean cleverly draws connections between the American garage underground and the rest of the globe, covering both the Flamin' Groovies ("Brushfire") and Bollywood ("Jaan Pehechaan Ho," best known to the Western world through its appearance in Ghost World), and there's a stylish economy to her original tunes that lets them hook into the subconscious easily. Whether it arrives as a riff or a vocal, Olivia Jean is enamored of melody and enchanted with vintage style, and the combination makes for a giddy blast of garage pop.

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