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Jack Colwell & The Owls
- Picture Window

Jam packed with relatable emotions, hopes and defeats, and unforgettable personal memories, all together amounting to a superior alt-pop record.

Celline Narinli

May 22nd 2012 | Label: Independent
Jack Colwell, who performs live with his band, The Owls, has made an impressive debut with the emotionally-charged Picture Window, using his classical training to create songs withmemorable hooks and sophisticated arrangements.

Colwell delves into the nuances of a broken heart; bitterness, madness, hopefulness and patience – all musically brought to life with driving piano chords coupled with medieval flute and recorder embellishments, a style at times comparable to Texan band Midlake. His bitterness is expressed as he spits out “You're the one full of regret, I'm the one who can't forget everything” in Spitfire, an anthemic and evocative declaration dramaticised further by the sizzling strings and Colwell's theatrical vocals. The Labyrinth metaphorically unveils his feelings of incarceration and confusion – “I am the padlock, you are the key… set my body free” – with the soaring violin carving its way deeper into his desperate plea.

Whilst maintaining his brand of orchestral-based pop, Colwell is not afraid to abandon the piano and expose his grungier side with the darker, maddening, love-obsessed Banquet, which swelters with groaning vocals and gritty, abrasive electric guitar, making it one of the more impressive (and tense) tracks on the album.

But it's not all sad on Colwell's front; moods are lifted, stretched and explored across the eight tracks of this release. Captain's Melody is a hopeful tune that carries a delightful singalong chorus filled with “la la las” – a song to win back lost love – and he continues to pirouette between moods with Picture Window, From The Ground and Waiting For Thee, the latter cowritten and sung by Bridezilla's Daisy M. Tulley.

Picture Window is jam packed with relatable emotions, hopes and defeats, and unforgettable personal memories, all together amounting to a superior alt-pop record.

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