By reworking Jenny Hval’s ‘Kingsize’ and lending her voice to Daniel Avery’s Drone Logic, Kelly Lee Owens was able to establish her first solid roots in the music-making business. As the final result of this mutual exchange of knowledge, her self-titled debut turns out to be one of the most sensual and honest audio experiences you’ll have this year.

Settling amongst the London chaos, Kelly was able to secure an internship at XL Recordings and there befriended producers James Greenwood (Ghost Culture) and Daniel Avery, while working at Pure Groove record store. She was then able to perfect her musical craft, now presenting us an exceptional debut album in which she collaborates with both.

‘Arthur’, an ode to Arthur Russell, one of Kelly Lee Owens’ personal heroes, was featured on Alexander McQueen’s 2016 Autumn/Winter fashion show and drew all the necessary media attention to her next step. Oleic, an EP released last November, allowed the producer to settle herself into a very fragile musical universe. Her first album continues that trajectory with seductive soft vocals under harmoniously blended eeriness, embracing downtempo techno with a touch of vulnerability, yet remaining dancefloor appropriate.

Simple lyrics and whispered words are a common pattern on this record, ‘Lucid’ being a good example of how the Welsh producer exposes her vocal fragility. Less being more, Kelly Lee Owens has created an album that shows heartfelt vulnerability without over-complicating the sound. First single ‘Anxi’ brings on board Jenny Hval and her hazy spoken word. While this song allows you to reflect, it also shows that Hval’s voice particularities are worth exploring in different musical contexts. Elsewhere ‘Evolution’ takes us travelling through the 4am techno club headspace.

The whole album is uniformly strong, but it’s not until the very end of the album that we get a three-song segment that can be endlessly repeated. ‘Throwing Lines’ fully allows Kelly to crack her shell and embrace her true singing self. As she took time to develop her sound and concept, she was also able to convey her delicate vision by converting her beats into dancing delicacies. Colours, beauty and motion inspire the cosmic-sounding anthem ‘CBM’, and then we find Daniel Avery tipped into the production of ‘Keep Walking’, to wrap up a close to flawless album.

Kelly Lee Owens’ love for Björk is well-known and it’s reflected as a major influence in her sound. So is her love for nature and all its purity. As her music shows, Kelly Lee Owens is honest, fluid and meaningful. Her rise to success is owed to her own creative mind and assuring that taking time to create a solid product can be a virtue.