Brooklyn singer/songwriter Kevin Olken Henthorn, aka. Cape Francis is a perfect fit for midwinter melancholy. His newest track, "Midnight Owl" is by turns lush, haunting, and upbeat.
Part of the local indie family, Sleep Well Records, Cape Francis brings a much appreciated earnestness to the Brooklyn scene. "Midnight Owl" opens with a reverb-heavy ambient section that recalls the loneliness of such soundscape artists as Grouper. As the track progresses, the eerie emptiness of the intro falls away and opens into an upbeat chorus that's hard not to nod along to. When the keys take over in the second verse it feels like we've really left behind the insular beginning and embraced the momentum of the music.
Even as the instrumentals build, Henthorn's voice maintains its intimacy. Though it's not elaborate, the song resists becoming too straightforward. The cleanliness the vocals and guitar are balanced by lush background textures and samples. Their effect is subtle. They keep the song from feeling too familiar without infringing on its listenability.
"Midnight Owl" was originally written as a second part to the previous Cape Francis single "Button Up". For the full experience, do yourself a favor and listen to them back to back.
Catch them live: 3/6- Brooklyn, NY @ Baby's All Right