Lewis Takes Off His Shirt

by Owen Pallett

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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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