The two Welsh musicians first met in London while Owens was collaborating on a song for Cale; they decided to record a track together for Inner Song. Cale sings in both English and Welsh over Owens’ droning instrumental.
“It’s not usually this immediate that a productive afternoon brings a satisfying conclusion to a task,” Cale says. “Kelly sent me a track she’d written — an instrumental that was a gentle drift — something comfortably familiar to what I’d been working on myself. On the first listen, the lyrics came with ease and a chorus and melody grew out of it. Even the Welsh phrases seemed to develop from a place of reflective memory, which was a surprise since I hadn’t written in Welsh for decades. Once finished, I realized there existed a built-in thread we’d created together and apart — and her kind spirit pulled it all together and in quick order.”
Owens adds: “I knew with this album I needed to connect with my roots and therefore having the Welsh language featured on the record felt very important to me. Once the music for the track was written and the sounds were formed, I sent the track straight to John and asked if he could perhaps delve into his Welsh heritage and tell the story of the land via spoken-word, poetry and song. What he sent back was nothing short of phenomenal. The arrangement was done during the mixing process and once I’d finished the track, I cried — firstly feeling incredibly lucky to have collaborated with John and his eternal talent and secondly for both of us to have been able to connect to our homeland in this way.”
Inner Song follows Owens’ self-titled debut album, released in 2017. Previous singles from the new LP include “On,” “Night” and “Melt!”