Kelly Lee Owens

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Kelly Lee Owens
Kelly Lee Owens performing at Roskilde Festival in Denmark
Owens performing at Roskilde Festival in Denmark
Background information
Born (1988-08-24) 24 August 1988 (age 32)
Rhuddlan, Flintshire, Wales
GenresTechno, dream pop, electronic
Occupation(s)Musician, singer, producer
Years active2014–present
LabelsSmalltown Supersound
Associated actsThe History of Apple Pie, Daniel Avery, Jon Hopkins

Kelly Lee Owens (born 24 August 1988)[1] is a Welsh electronic musician and producer. She released her self-titled first album in 2017 to critical praise, and her follow-up album Inner Song was released in August 2020.[2]

Early life[edit]

Owens was born on 24 August 1988 in Rhuddlan, Flintshire on the North Wales coast. Owens recalls writing poetry as a child and that being out in nature (in her mother's fields) gave her the time and the solitude to write.[3] As a teenager, she sang in her school choir[4] and played bass and drums.[5]

Owen grew up in a nearby small village where, she describes, "everyone knows everyone else". She began working at 14 as a waitress and spent her teenage years "involved in the 2006/2007 indie scene".[6]

At age 19, Owens moved from Wales to Manchester to work at a cancer treatment hospital.[3] While working as an auxiliary nurse, Owens would use her paid leave to help run local indie festivals.[3] It was the patients who would ultimately urge her to pursue her music career.[7][3]


Owens left her career as an auxiliary nurse in a cancer ward in Manchester to pursue music in 2009.[7] After moving to London, she interned at XL Recordings[6] and worked at various record stores including Pure Groove.[3] During that time, Owens played bass in the indie band The History of Apple Pie.[5]

It was during those early days in London that Owens met Daniel Avery, James Greenwood (aka “Ghost Culture”), and Erol Alkan.[7] Avery and Greenwood, with whom she manned the counter at the now closed Pure Groove,[8] brought her into the studio and introduced her to production software and Greenwood offered to be her sound engineer.[9] Avery would later invite her to collaborate on his 2013 album Drone Logic.[10] Owens released Oleic EP a year later, in 2016.[11]

Her eponymous album Kelly Lee Owens was released in March 2017 by the Norwegian label Smalltown Supersound. Later in 2017, she released a bonus cut from her album titled "Spaces".[12] The second track on Kelly Lee Owens, "Arthur", is a tribute to the late Arthur Russell.[5] Alexander McQueen used the track "Arthur" for his Fall 2016 runway show prior to the release of the studio album.[13] Avery has a co-write credit on "Keep Walking" and Jenny Hval appears on "Anxi".[14]

Owens has collaborated with St. Vincent, whose single "New York", from the album Masseduction, she remixed. She also collaborated with Björk on her EP dedicated to remixes of "Arisen My Senses" from her album Utopia, and John Cale on the track "Corner of my Sky", from her album Inner Song.

Owens' music has been described as dream pop,[12] techno pop,[7] and has been compared to the work of Arthur Russell.[15] She has expressed interest in the connection between healing and music. In 2017, she told Pitchfork that she was considering an exhibition on the “relationship between sound, healing, and resonant frequencies".[3] She has stated that she enjoys sampling music on her iPhone. On 24 March 2020 Owens announced that her second album Inner Song would be released on 28 August.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Owens currently resides in London.[17] She can read and write Welsh although she describes herself as "not fluent".[18]



Extended plays[edit]

  • Oleic (2016)



  1. ^ Dazed (20 December 2017). "Kelly Lee Owens drops a Dazed mix of metaphysical moods and bliss pop". Dazed. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Kelly Lee Owens delays album because of coronavirus". NME. 24 March 2020. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Kelly Lee Owens' Techno Daydreams". Pitchfork. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Kelly Lee Owens: The Art Of Being An Artist". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Kelly Lee Owens: Kelly Lee Owens Album Review | Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  6. ^ a b Chui, Natalie (18 June 2016). "Kelly Lee Owens". natalierpchui. Archived from the original on 10 May 2020. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d Hutchinson, Kate (26 November 2017). "Kelly Lee Owens: 'My patients were my career advisers'". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Kelly Lee Owens - Inverted Audio". Inverted Audio. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  9. ^ McDonald, Scott (27 March 2018). "Kelly Lee Owens has a master plan". San Diego CityBeat. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Kelly Lee Owens - Kelly Lee Owens - Album review - Loud And Quiet". Loud And Quiet. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Kelly Lee Owens - Kelly Lee Owens". Rough Trade. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  12. ^ a b ""Spaces" by Kelly Lee Owens Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  13. ^ Cusumano, Edd Horder,Katherine. "Meet the Transcendent Kelly Lee Owens, an Alexander McQueen-Approved Electronic Musician". W Magazine. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  14. ^ McAllister, Sam (7 September 2016). "Kelly Lee Owens". Pitch Perfect PR. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Review: Kelly Lee Owens, 'Kelly Lee Owens'". Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  16. ^ "Kelly Lee Owens Delays New Album Release Due to Coronavirus". Pitchfork. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  17. ^ Hutchinson, Kate (5 May 2020). "Techno DJ Kelly Lee Owens: 'I still have to fight to not be seen as just the singer'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 10 May 2020. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  18. ^ "How Radiohead, Social Media Addiction, and the Ravages of Climate Change Inspired Kelly Lee Owens' New Album". Pitchfork. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
  19. ^ Minsker, Evan (5 December 2019). "Jon Hopkins and Kelly Lee Owens share new song 'Luminous Spaces': Listen". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 6 December 2019. Retrieved 26 December 2019.

External links[edit]