Either way, the album is lovely: sonically pretty but also substantial, diverse on a track by track basis, able to surprise even when harkening to the past. And, to hear singer Chris Owens tell it, the band's thievery is shameless in the best way.
"The only reason I write songs is to copy guys I like," Owens says over the phone. "I don't want to make anything new here, I just want to be part of something I really like."
As the many critics who have raved over the album have pointed out, it's Owens's songwriting that elevates Father, Son, Holy Ghost. In a wounded, gooey croon, he delivers lines that sound, on their face, like boilerplate rock talk about love, drugs, and family. But he's a rare indie-music optimist, which is funny, given the band's much-noticed back story: Owens was raised in a Christian cult called Children of God until he was a teenager, when he escaped to Amarillo, Texas, leaving his mom behind. His songs don't explicitly address that tough past, but come from the point of view of someone who's gingerly, openheartedly making his way in a new world, trying to figure out how romance and stability can coexist.
Father, Son, Holy Ghost is available on iTunes here.
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