Honey Owens suffers from a creative surplus that most procrastinators (like me) might initially find rather intimidating. In addition to running her own vintage clothing store, Rad Summer, in her hometown of Portland, she and long-time boyfriend Adam Forkner (a.k.a. White Rainbow) operate a CD-R label, Yarnlazer, and she has contributed to so many musical groups over the years (Jackie-O-Motherfucker, Nudge, World, Dark Yoga), the list in itself is overwhelming. Oh, and did I mention she also creates her own music under the moniker Valet?
Currently appearing in a major city near you as a touring member of Atlas Sound (as well as playing an opening slot as Valet), Owens’ artistic output simply knows no bounds. In a recent interview I conducted with her and Forkner, she explained the process in magnanimous and very lucid terms: “I feel like creation is the reason that we are here and it takes all of us to make up a single pixel or sound.” That being her modus operandi (and that for much of the community-minded Portland music scene while we’re on the subject), it should probably not surprise the faithful that she’s now releasing her second album in as many years on experimental mainstay Kranky.
The aptly titled Naked Acid is both minimalist and psychedelic, treading ambient waters even as it smashes open the psyche to let the remnants of ego dribble out. Dosed accordingly (and often), the drones soothe even as they expand the consciousness; Owens’ experimental eccentricities are in fine form here. Refining the freely flowing jams that defined debut Blood Is Clean, Honey employs sparse tribal percussion and her always emphatic electric guitar noodling to anchor the abundance of buoyant atmospheres.
As on her debut, lyrics drift about un-tethered, often indiscernible and serving mostly as a function of rhythm (“We Went There”). Certain songs still carouse through several movements each, like abbreviated shamanic journeys into parallel alien landscapes of mind-altering sound (“Drum Movie”). The most song-y track, simply titled “Fire,” borrows its simply strummed structure from Jackie-O Motherfucker’s cosmonaut folk. It’s also the closest thing she’s yet written to a pop song. I’ll be vibing on Naked Acid long into spring, waiting for the rad summer to arrive.
Acid Mother’s Temple – Wild Gals A Go-Go
Windy & Carl – Consciousness
Atlas Sound – Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel