Liverpool alt-folk hero, Mason Owens has announced the release of his hotly anticipated follow up EP, Early Hours, a four-track tribute to freedom, loss and escapism.
The singer songwriter’s sophomore EP takes a departure from his previous work, drawing on inspirations including John Martyn, Nick Drake and Tracy Chapman, to produce an altogether different sound.
Moving away from the raw, aggressive sound of his debut, “Off The Bat”, Owens introduces intricate guitar work, sentimental lyricism and folk-infused melodies to his latest release, in what he is calling a “new phase” in his artistry.
“It’s closer to what I want to be doing; the music I naturally make,” Owens said. “Listening to the two EPs together, the style is completely different.
“It’s a lot more mellow, a lot more melancholy, more emotional and pleasant on the ears. Off The Bat is a fast paced aggressive one to get you up in the morning, whereas this is made for chilling out to and make you think and reflect.
“It’s for fans of contemporary folk and acoustic sounds; music to listen to at 3am when you can’t get a kip.”
The EP has been produced by the acclaimed electronic producer and DJ, Hector Barbour (AKA Denis Sulta) who has turned his attention to the world of acoustic folk on this one-off side project.
Early Hours opens with “Stoned in the Vallies”, a tune about ‘wanting to be free. It’s about the feeling of being caged up for so long that you can’t remember what feeling feels like,” Owens said.
Next on the tracklist is “Coming Down,” a song about missing someone, something or somewhere that is no longer here.
Initially, Owens started writing the song without a clear intention, but the track took on a deeper layer of meaning when the mother of one of Owen’s close friends passed away.
Owens said: “At first, when I was writing this song there was no real intention behind the lyrics. I was exploring a feeling more than anything.
“But, on the day that I finished the song, one of my good mates’ mother passed away. It was almost like the song was about that, although it wasn’t intentional.
“It’s like a tribute to her in a way, she was a good woman.”
On the third track, “Fly Away”, Owens returns to themes of freedom. The song was written during a small stint in prison and inspired by a small bird that he and fellow inmates kept as a pet in their cell.
“It’s a proper prison song that I wrote while I was in there. I just wanted to fly away like a bird and fly off back to Liverpool,” Owens said.
Closing the EP is “See Everyday”, returning once more to the idea of escapism. The final track tells the story of escaping into the wilderness and leaving everything behind.
“This one is about yearning to get away with someone. It’s about you and the love of your life just getting off somewhere, going out into the wilderness, leaving everything behind and getting out there into nature,” Owens added.
Owens burst onto Liverpool’s contemporary folk scene in 2020 with the release of his debut single ‘I’m Not an Englishman’.
The track racked up over 100,000 streams and earned him the attention of BBC Introducing and fellow Merseysider, Jamie Webster, who topped the Official Folk Album Chart last year.
Owens “could go down in scouse folklore with some of his tunes”, Webster said.
He has since gone on to perform at some of Liverpool’s most popular venues, including the O2 Academy and Liverpool Eventim Olympia.
He is performing on the main stage at this years Liverpool Sound City Festival in October and has his first major headline, full band show in Liverpool Arts Club on November 13th of this year for I Love Live Events.
For more information about Mason Owens, visit: http://www.niftyrecords.com/