On Owen Kennedy’s latest release, ‘Pothead Pixie’ art-jazz meets rock-rap in swirling self-loathing.
Owen Kennedy – Pothead Pixie (ft. Chef & Tom Waters)
‘Pothead Pixie’ begins with an unnerving, mechanical sound – it could be the distorted sound of a train running past, it could be some alien engine powering up ready to invade. But just when it reaches its climax, it is suddenly replaced by dreamy piano notes. If all of that sounds a bit too much for you, you’d best steer clear of this track.
Owen Kennedy is an art-rock artist from North London, who describes himself as fusing witty jazz with indie rock. On this track, he is also joined by London rapper Chef, and saxophonist Tom Waters.
‘Pothead Pixie’ is a cacophonous genre-blending creation, but once you get past the noise there’s a joyous chaos and an emotional core to it.
‘Give my time back’, Kennedy drawls, to perhaps a troubled lover or even the titular pixie spirit of marijuana. There’s a devastating resignation to it, with Kennedy raising his voice to a plaintive wail, crying ‘Throw your arms down now, she knows’. The track then shifts into a nightmare waltz for Chef’s rap section, carrying on the self-loathing, spitting ‘I can’t believe I messed up, now it’s 2am…stuck in my head’, his voice on the verge of a psychotic rasp. And throughout all of this is Waters’ howling saxophone. It’s quite the experience.
The production uses everything from classically-influenced piano and strings to grand overdriving guitars and saxophone lines with more than a hint of the 1980s. Some may find this too much – at over 5 minutes with a long jam-style outro, it’s a challenge – but many will find it fascinating, particularly fans of such eclectic artists like Rufus Wainwright and David Bowie.
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Words Eden Tredwell