When an artist is labeled as a folk singer-songwriter, the immediate reaction of most potential listeners would be just a singer behind an acoustic guitar, sometimes with some sparse backing.
Sure, London’s William Patrick Owen was initially recognized for the excellent finger-picking guitar style of his debut album First Person Singular (2017).
Yet, as that album’s title was descriptive of its content, so is the title of his follow-up Dreams on the Moon. Immediately, with the opening title track, with its multilayered, looped vocals Owen tells us that he is going into a completely different direction ― one that can be certainly labeled as ambient folk.
Ok, the acoustic guitar is there somewhere, but it is just a part of a moody, dreamlike setting that Owen creates on the 11 tracks here. It is multilayered, painstakingly created music, so it is no wonder that it took him 3 years to create it.
Owen describes Dreams on the Moon as a meditation on haunting dreams, psychedelia, cosmic spirituality, and the creative process itself.
Usually, with such a concept, artists who set themselves on such a journey are playing with fire that can either make them shine or incinerate them, particularly if they attempt to do extended tracks, which can often drift into open space.
Owen does take that route here on the eight-minute or so “Shadow” and particularly on the almost 17 minutes long “Land of Cracks.” Yet, he comes out of both with flying colors, scoring another win for ambient folk.