With his first solo record, Lysandre, Christopher Owens has stepped away from the mythology that consumed him and his old band. As the face of the indie-darling group Girls, Owens was a character study: a child born into a cult, a protégé of an eccentric oil heir, and, almost lastly, an incredible songwriter. The songs in Girls' catalog could be roughly split between cunning pop earworms and sometimes-sinister orchestral teenage symphonies. Lysandre is a radical shift. It's often very delicate, with soft flutes and gently strummed classical guitar. A recurring instrumental motif, in the form of "Lysandre's Theme," casts a haunting spell over the record, which primarily documents Owens's first nationwide tour, and the realization that playing for big indie crowds won't help you shake off years of personal trauma. The only perplexing question is why, at other moments, the music sounds like the sax-heavy '90s theme for America's Funniest Home Videos. Owens has remarked that Lysandre is an album he had to get out of his system. While it might startle some Girls fans, Lysandre certainly points to a potentially fruitful and varied career. Vera Project, 9 pm, $20 adv/$22 DOS.

Continue reading »