Many of us have wished we could split the city and escape to the country at various points over the last 18 months, but inspired by temporarily leaving New York to record the predecessor to Time to Melt, Sam Owens (aka Sam Evian) made it permanent this time – and sounds lighter for it.
The result of decamping to the Catskills and sorting through a stack of instrumental demos recorded over the last two years, the album breezes between woozy melodies and soulfully psychedelic pop with Owens evoking Elliott Smith fronting Metronomy on ‘Lonely Days’, strutting through big, brassy ensembles on ‘Easy to Love’, and falling on the brighter side of Junior Boys on ‘Never Know’.
For the most part, it’s a blissful take, but Owens also lands the odd punch on police brutality and for-profit prison systems (‘Freezee Pops’) with a deftness you don’t initially hear coming, particularly when it hits like the Zero 7 remix of N*E*R*D’s ‘Provider’.
Elsewhere, the free-flowing jazz of ‘Around it Goes’ and Theremin frequencies of ‘Sunshine’ don’t carry the same social weight, but still contribute to a stylish slipstream that makes Time to Melt a pretty elegant listen.
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