Though it would be irresponsible journalism to not mention that Girls singer Christopher Owens spent his first 16 years in the sheltered climate of a cult called Children of God, the universal nature of the songs he’s singing now almost make his background irrelevant.
“I grew up totally different than anybody I know, and I’ve talked to a lot of people and it’s impossible for me to ever truly explain what happened or to feel like anybody really understands,” he says. “But what I have noticed is that everybody grows up feeling kind of like they’re trapped.”
When Owens felt trapped, he left the cult and moved to Texas. He eventually found his way to San Francisco where he met JR White, a roommate who would become his recording partner. Together they committed to tape the sad, sweet and sometimes silly-sounding songs that make up “Album.”
“We didn’t have any band or any label or any deadline, so we were just recording very casually, but at the same time we were trying to make the best songs that we could,” says Owens.
Those songs were good enough to quickly garner them a virtual following on MySpace, which led to people wanting to book them for gigs, which eventually led to Spin magazine naming them the best band of this year.
Though Owens writes lyrics coated in enough teenage malaise to inspire a YouTube cover of their song “Hellhole Ratrace” by an actual teenage girl, he says he and White had a fun time recording the song whose opening lines inspired this headline.
“That’s the whole point of writing a song about something sad,” he says, “to get it off your chest.”
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