Owen Pallett – ‘In Conflict’

Review by Steve Marck

Owen Pallett has been lending his punctuation to other people’s stories for years now. Depending on how steeped you are in his sounds, you’ll be able to pick out his strings arranged across dozens of recordingsthey sing out with a distinct and unmistakable luminescence. When he’s harnessing the heat of his own moments, however, that’s when his work truly shines. In Conflict is timeless in its own sense, blending tales of modern anxiety with the antiquity of the spurned, the jilted, and the uncertain. There are grandiose quests of questionable nobility tied nearly seamlessly to well-weathered acts of tactless acquiescence. The tales pulsing under The Sky Behind the Flag, and the album’s title track, illustrate the rich amalgam of Pallett’s varied influences. These compositions stream from the tensely percussive into billowing acoustic sparseness, with a fluidity that is rarely unbridled—even when it spirals towards voluminous delirium. As with all of Pallett’s previous chapters, In Conflict is an orchestration that’s worthwhile as its own story, but will definitely kindle imagination solely from Owen’s telltale aural talents as well.

Stream “Song for Five & Six”