Mason Owens – Stoned in the Vallies (Spotify)

“Mason Owens creates with his very own personal style and this is quite clear in this recent single. Easy-going guitar based creation with characteristic singing. The artist's elegant voice can immediately steel the listener's impression and lead to a further relaxing mood.”

Following the success of his debut EP, ‘Off The Bat’, Liverpool alt-folk hero, Mason Owens will release ‘Stoned in the Vallies’ the first single from his hotly anticipated follow up EP, ‘Early Hours’, out now.

The track, along with the rest of the EP, is produced by Glaswegian electronic pioneer Hector Barbour, better known as Denis Sulta, who is renowned across the world for his electric DJ sets spanning house, techno, trance and disco.

The former Mixmag cover star and BBC Radio 1 Residency Broadcaster won DJ Mag’s Best of British DJ awards in 2019 and has turned his attention to the world of acoustic music for this exclusive side project after hearing Owens’ play ‘Stoned in the Vallies’ during a jam session.

Mason Owens, said: “I had a jam session a few months back with Hector and he said, ‘play me a track you haven’t got out yet’. I played him the tune and he related to it - he wanted to be part of it. He understood the sentiment and the meaning behind the song.”

Barbour, who has released music on influential labels such as Ninja Tune, Numbers and his own Sulta Selects and Silver Service imprints brings production techniques that he has nurtured through his impressive career to date.

“I never thought it would sound as good as it did, and a great deal of that is down to the quality of Hector’s production” Owens continues “Recording the track with him was a great experience.”

‘Stoned in the Vallies’ was penned by Mason two years ago, just after a short stint behind bars. It comes as no surprise that themes of freedom run through the lyrics.

“Stoned in the Vallies is about wanting to be free. It’s about the feeling of being caged up and not being able to remember what freedom feels like,” explains Mason.

“My head wasn't necessarily in a bad place at the time (though the spelling of ‘Vallies’ does give a nod to a well-known anti-depressant). I just wanted to get out there and get my life back on track.”

Taking a departure from his previous work, Owens draws on inspirations including John Martyn, Nick Drake and Tracy Chapman, to produce an altogether different sound.

Moving away from the raw sound of his debut EP, “Off The Bat”, Owens introduces intricate guitar work, sentimental lyricism and folk-infused melodies to his latest release, in what he is calling a “new phase” in his artistry.

“It’s closer to what I want to be doing; the music I naturally make,” Owens said. “The style is completely different. It's a lot more mellow, a lot more melancholy and more emotional.

“Off The Bat is a fast paced aggressive one to get you up in the morning, whereas this is made for chilling out to and make you think and reflect.

Owens burst onto Liverpool’s contemporary folk scene in 2020 with releases such as ‘Waiting For You’ and ‘Dock Road’.

He has racked up over 100,000 streams on Spotify alone and earned the attention of BBC Introducing Merseyside and fellow Scouser, Jamie Webster, who topped the Official Folk Album Chart last year.

Owens “could go down in folklore with some of his tunes”, Webster said.

He has since gone on to perform at some of Liverpool’s most popular venues, including the O2 Academy, Art Club Liverpool, Studio 2 Parr Street and Eventim Olympia as well as playing the hugely popular BOSS Night events at the first ever Everton Sessions for Everton Football Club.

As the country emerges from lockdown, Owens is preparing for a number of live shows in the coming months ahead of the release of ‘Early Hours’ including supporting Jamie Webster on several dates on his UK tour, playing the Main Stage at this year’s Liverpool Sound City Festival and his own headline show at the Arts Club, Liverpool with I Love Live Events.

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