In Conflict

A few months ago, Canadian indie auteur Owen Pallett shared an Oscar nomination with Arcade Fire's William Butler for scoring Her. The classically trained multi-instrumentalist's second album under his own name showcases his warm, elegant voice, matched with his compelling skill on violin, viola and synths; guests from a Czech orchestra to Brian Eno (who adds guitar, keys and backing vocals on several songs) accentuate a series of moving meditations on memory and identity. From the string-riff-heavy melodrama of "The Riverbed" to the layered collage of "Song for Five & Six" and the slow-burn intensity of "The Passions," In Conflict is a pop treasure that's also a stirring, personal work of art.

From The Archives Issue 1210: June 5, 2014