By Nicole Kobie
It seems to be true that Calgarians subscribe to a grass-is-greener-in-the-other-city mentality whenever the topic of local music pops up.
Newcomer Rachael Owens will pleasantly surprise those Calgarians who can relate to such sentiments. Rachael’s music may provide you with the auditory stimulus you require to become an avid believer in the local music scene.
Listening to her music, one becomes transfixed by the sheer beauty of her voice and moved by the level of creativity with which each musical note was placed into the context of the song. It won’t be long before her name conjures up an enthusiastic smile on the faces of music lovers across this city.
"Music should be a celebration" remarked Rachael. "It should inspire people. The first time I was inspired by music was when I was young and I saw this gospel choir play. It is difficult to even describe how that music made me feel."
Rachael genuinely has the desire to create in her listeners a shared sense of emotion.
"I realized when I watched performers perform what kind of state they would put their audience into. They created this wonderful feeling. When I would perform, and be the cause of such a feeling, it made me realize how much I valued expressing myself in this way," she explained.
Owen’s debut CD, Through these eyes, is a hybrid of jazz, folk, funk and is laced with a personality that is distinctive. The songs are carefully constructed and thus accessible to both diehards fans of these particular genres and to those who simply dabble in them as a means of quenching their eclectic thirst.
Lyrically, Through these eyes is meaningful and revealing. It speaks of an individual who is excited about experiencing life, and driven by the challenge of overcoming the difficulties within. In the song, "Not a Fad" she writes, "I’m not a fickle fad like Rubik’s Cube or acid wash jeans, where you pull off the stickers or rip holes at the seams. I live, love and breathe this, My voice is my soul." In the song "August Moon" she sings, "I imagined we were perfect lovers. When I never even knew you as a friend."
It is difficult to accurately describe what it is like to hear Rachael sing. In laymen terms one might say her voice is goosebump-inducing. She has impeccable enunciation combined with an extensive range. She manages to utilize the more obscure notes of the particular scale within which she is working. This creates a sense of anticipation within the listener.
Her voice is also extremely versatile. She has the ability to sing with soothing undertones, while at the same time creating a hint of sexuality by adding the perfect amount of edginess to her voice.
You can experience Rachael Owens’ jazz stylings at her CD release party Thurs., Oct. 21 at Kaos Jazz bar.