PRIMER: The Many Lives of Owen Pallett
Owen Pallett’s fourth album, In Conflict, is officially out today. The formerly-Toronto-now-Montreal based violin looper/songwriter has said he’s made a clearer effort to write more candidly and from his own life, a decision that has led some critics into the trap of reading it as pure autobiography. If you’ve been following Pallett, either as a solo artist or as a frequent collaborator with the likes of Arcade Fire, The National, Taylor Swift and Spike Jonze, you’d know that approach is a dead end. Not that there’s a clear, simple path; It seems against his very nature to suggest there’s one single overarching narrative throughout everything he’s done.
With that in mind, we thought we’d highlight two compelling sides to Pallett’s work that reveal a great deal about the path he’s followed to arrive at In Conflict: his long history of collaboration on material outside his solo work, and the way in which his own songs have been guiding listeners away from interpreting solely for any autobiographical details. If you’re new to his world, this should help catch you up.