Los Angeles-based producer and singer-songwriter andreas owens and lead singer of the indie-pop outfit The Millennial Club has dropped his solo debut EP almost everything i've ever wanted to say. A deep-seated and unguarded R&B-tinged pop record, the EP follows a series of 2021 singles: “don’t feel happy”, “falling & falling”, and “not much (better than before).” Andreas Owens exhibits a new level of intimacy and self-understanding in his pristine yet unfeigned 5-track effort.
The record starts off with the previously unreleased effort “bad4you.” It's finely calibrated with silky smooth melodies and a left of center production driven by a restless jounce. The song reflects upon moments of soft intimacy and an excursion into lustful thoughts for a lover. For crossover fans of The Millennial Club, you might feel at home here, but this is surely a brand new chapter for Owens both sonically and lyrically.
“not much (better than before)” is entrenched with Owens’ translucent vocals backed by enthralling bass lines and idyllic sonic nuances. Narratively, the song positions Owens in his most vulnerable place yet, and is about the choices we make to better ourselves and the gradual process behind reaching our true identity. It’s the portrait we paint not only for others to see us as, but the one for our own self.
The middle track, “don’t feel happy,” is driven by absorbing synth and bass, alongside a narrative tapping into the doldrums of a romantic relationship. Owens takes more liberties here with his sonic inclinations, gravitating towards slick R&B grooves and thumping beats. It’s a sultry bedroom jam and feels like a song preoccupied with the inner thoughts of a relationship teetering on the sharp edges of making up or breaking up.
“‘almost everything i’ve ever wanted to say’ is truthfully that — it is in every way, nearly everything I’ve ever wanted to say musically, lyrically, sonically, experimentally, and emotionally, Owens explains over email. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to create and complete a work like this; something where I’ve sat in my room and slowly worked from beginning to end without any real goal in mind. Almost like I’m reading a book about my life, piecing together one experience after another but not quite knowing where or how the story ends.”
Penultimate track “falling & falling” is wrapped up in a beautifully synth-dappled package. While it’s outer shell has this sheen pop coating, inside the track is a theme built on society's addiction to social media. It’s a song dealing with the disconnect you have not only with close ones, but with the world around you. Yet somehow for a track commentating on a hefty subject matter, Owens’ arrangements shimmer and glide with style and grace.
In the finale, Owens takes a sharp sonic left turn with his acoustic guitar on “speaking with my chest.” He goes for the lo-fi singer/songwriter vibe that pays dividends for him. While on paper the song may feel a bit barebones compared to his previous four tracks, however, the pandemic-era written song is starkly intimate and honest. He beams much brighter here going down a traditional route which in return allows listeners to get a deeper perception of who the man is behind the mic. It’s one of those rare sonic switches from the Owens camp, but perhaps one he should think about exploring more often.
While Owens wrote, recorded, and produced almost everything i've ever wanted to say in his bedroom-turned-studio, the EP is far removed from the bedroom-pop stigma. In fact, it would be a disservice to call it that as the songs here travel down different roads, making pit stops in romantic pop sound areas to subtle R&B-tinged environments and even the acoustic path found on the final track. One thing is clear and that’s after building a fanbase with The Millennial Club, Andreas Owens appears to have found a deeper sense of clarity about his motivation to become a solo artist—a self-awareness he hopes to reflect upon both previous fans and new listeners alike.