Dylan Owen is a one of a kind artist with paralyzing levels of brilliance and potential to his work. Most of hip-hop seems to promote the illusion that expensive alcohols, pretentious venues and promiscuous habits are the most important elements in life. Dylan’s approach, however, focuses on what actually matters – fighting depression, appreciating the mundane in our day-to-day experiences, and loving those around you in legitimate, unsexy ways.
I’ve been following Dylan ever since he dropped the Sheeps, Beats, and Jeeps freestyle back when I was in high school. Shortly after, he put out the Keep Your Friends Close EP, in which he showed us his skillful lyricism over semi-acoustic beats and established his trademark of poetic story telling and unapologetic honesty. I honestly didn’t think his music could get any better after KYFC.
He was then quiet for several years (aside from another freestyle, a single, and a remix) until this past summer with the release of “There’s More to Life”, his debut album that far surpassed his EPs. Make time to listen to this album from start to finish, because it is a breath of fresh air. If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be “The Best Fears of Our Lives”, a track that confronts the anxieties sinking in after our years of innocence fade.
The storyline he’s shared through this latest album continues in “Best Man Speech,” the single he dropped today that’s devoted to his older brother. The instrumental’s slightly melancholic personality embodies the duality of the memories you share with your brother, some blissful and some difficult. In catching up with Dylan, he told me: “[my brother] was my role model growing up and I wanted to release this one as a personal tribute to him and how he helped to get me where I am now with music.”
Dylan is now bringing his journey on the road with his first solo tour, hitting several major northern cities in the coming month. Check the dates below and be sure to catch one of these shows if you’re nearby:
March 1 – Boston, MA (Middle East Upstairs)
March 12 – Philadelphia, PA (Tralfamadore)
March 24 – New York, NY (Nuyorican Poets Café)
April 1 – Burlington, VT (Monkey House)
For future releases and shows, keep up with Dylan Owen on SoundCloud, Twitter, and Facebook.
“My grandfather said this country beat a Great Depression, and so can you.” –Dylan Owen