"The songs on this record feel a lot like diary entries to me. In this case, the phrase 'dear me' can be read as both an expression of regret and the beginning of a letter to oneself. I see it as both," notes OWEL vocalist Jay Sakong. "That’s the nice thing about lyrics in songs - you can pretty much reveal the most secretive parts of yourself and not feel as exposed as if you just said it out loud."
New Jersey-based indie outfit OWEL will release their intimate sophomore full-
length, dear me, on November 11, which was co-produced by Sakong and Gates’ vocalist Kevin Dye. dear me is the follow-up to Every Good Boy (EP, 2015) that was produced by Mike Watts (As Tall As Lions, The Dear Hunter), and the band's debut, self-titled full-length (2013).
Featuring delicate, dreamy vocals with lush five-part harmonies, elegant string arrangements and a tasteful touch of electronic elements throughout, the band has
created a truly stunning sound on dear me that is all their own and simultaneously feels classic and modern. On the album, dramatic crescendos and dynamic soundscapes weave behind ethereal vocals, gracefully leading listeners on a phenomenal sonic journey of reflection, curiosity and contemplation.
"A lot of the songs on the self-titled album dealt with guilt and maybe even a bit of self- loathing. And while some of those feelings may still linger on the new record, I think for the most part the newer songs reflect a slightly more optimistic state of mind," he reveals. "We were mostly just excited to go into the studio. I know some musicians
prefer performing live over recording and, although I do love to perform live, I think making music in the studio is my favorite thing to do in life."
OWEL formed in 2013 and is comprised of Jay Sakong (lead vocals, guitar, keys), Jane Park (vocals, violin, viola, keys), Nunzio Moudatsos (vocals, bass), Ryan Vargas (percussion) and Seamus O’Connor (vocals, guitar, keys).
To date, OWEL has shared stages with the likes of Minus The Bear, Foxing, American Authors and performed at festivals such as Gentlemen of the Road, CMJ, SXSW, and
Northside Festival. The band has also seen syncs across numerous networks including NBC, FOX, E!, Showtime, TLC, Oxygen, The CW and more. OWEL has also been noted as a band to watch by Pitchfork, NPR, Grantland, Noisey, A.V. Club and more.
Settling into an official lineup in 2012, Northern Faces are an Albany, New York-based indie rock group taking influence from British and American trad rock. With Bryan Shortell and Marco Testa on vocals and guitars, Matt Ippolito on bass, and Mike Ryan on drums, they put out their debut EP, Southern Places, in 2013. Featuring production by Casey Bates (Portugal. The Man, Emarosa), their first full-length, Northern Faces, arrived in 2015 on Equal Vision Records. Mark McKenna had replaced Ryan as drummer by the time of its release. Officially down to the trio of Shortell, Testa, and Ippolito, they returned in the spring of 2017 with the shimmering single "Messin' with Me" from their sophomore LP.