After a brief pandemic-related postponement, Kelly Lee Owens will release her new album Inner Song at the end of the month. The upcoming effort was previously teased with both “Melt!” and “On”. Now, for her third preview, the electronic music producer has enlisted the help of The Velvet Underground’s own John Cale.
According to a statement, the two Welsh artists initially met up in London to work on a song for Cale. Those brainstorming sessions eventually led to talks about a formal collaboration for Owens’ album, and thus their joint track “Corner of My Sky” was born. On it, Cale sings in both English and Welsh over production that builds comfort out of drone-like hums and buzzing.
“It’s not usually this immediate that a productive afternoon brings a satisfying conclusion to a task,” Cale remarked. “Kelly sent me a track she’d written — an instrumental that was a gentle drift — something comfortably familiar to what I’d been working on myself.”
“On the first listen, the lyrics came with ease and a chorus and melody grew out of it. Even the Welsh phrases seemed to develop from a place of reflective memory which was a surprise since I hadn’t written in Welsh for decades,” continued the Velvet Underground founding member. “Once finished, I realized there existed a built-in thread we’d created together and apart – and her kind spirit pulled it all together and in quick order.”
Owens echoed Cale’s sentiments in her own statement and noted how their song helped her connect to her roots,
“I knew with this album I needed to connect with my roots and therefore having the Welsh language featured on the record felt very important to me. Once the music for the track was written and the sounds were formed, I sent the track straight to John and asked if he could perhaps delve into his Welsh heritage and tell the story of the land via spoken-word, poetry and song. What he sent back was nothing short of phenomenal. The arrangement was done during the mixing process and once I’d finished the track, I cried – firstly feeling incredibly lucky to have collaborated with John and his eternal talent and secondly for both of us to have been able to connect to our homeland in this way.”