We never had a certain idea of what it should be more than a place with high ceilings for expression and room for development in any direction. So in its core Thus Owls is a creature that will always keep morphing.” – Erika Angell
Thus Owls are a Montreal-based band built around the core of Swedish-Canadian couple Erika and Simon Angell. The two met in Amsterdam in 2007. At the time, Simon was touring internationally as a member of Patrick Watson’s band, and Erika was playing with Loney Dear, although both were also deeply immersed in the experimental pop and improvisational scenes in their respective hometowns. The two met, and their immediate musical attraction grew into something more personal. Before long, they were married and the collaboration that is Thus Owls was born.
Simon’s harshly charismatic guitar sound blends with the urgency of Erika’s vocals to create a sound that bends and stretches their unusual compositions into ever newer and surprising shapes. Their soulful adventurousness almost overshadows their musical fluency; pop and folk song forms are refracted through lenses of free noise, punk-rock skronk, and jazz precision. Thus Owls borrows from every corner of popular music, while pushing boundaries beyond any hackneyed genre classification. Humbly, Erika explains it away: “Our personal reason for creating music, to write and record our own music, is always to try to make something that is as genuine, original and personal as possible. It’s not an easy task with so much amazing music already made and so many directions to choose between.” Her mild words and tone stand in contrast to the striking emotional soundscapes they produce.