Lewis Takes Off His Shirt
by Owen Pallett
In his lyrics, Owen Pallett often crafts narratives that are both meaningful and compelling. In “E is for Estranged,” Pallett sings, “This house is a hostel / It is peaceful, but it’s always emptying / Boys all want to be someone / Haven’t you heard? / …I saw my son at seventeen / The shutters made projections on his naked frame / But now at twenty-five, he simply cannot stay away / From the ketamine / With make-up on his sores / He spends an hour a day composing his own eulogy / Sometimes he sends me letters / But they’re mostly garbled phrases and apologies.”
Although trained as a classical violinist, Pallett’s storytelling influences range from the videogame to the role-playing game; Pallett originally performed under the name Final Fantasy (the name of a popular series of videogames) and gives nods in his albums to videogames like The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. 3., suggesting a debt to videogame composers like Nobuo Uematsu and Koji Kondo. And the form of Pallett’s second album, He Poos Clouds, is designed to correspond to certain elements of the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons.
Aside from his three albums (including the most recent Heartland), Pallett has composed operas and scores for videogames and films. – Matthew Baker
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