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Faith & Grace Beauty Group

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Owen Pallett - Heartland (2010)

Owen Pallett - Heartland (2010)

Owen Pallett is a Canadian composer, violinist, keyboardist, and vocalist who has been making music since the early 2000s. He is known for his intricate and imaginative arrangements, often using a loop pedal to create layers of sound with his violin. He has also collaborated with many other artists, such as Arcade Fire, The National, Taylor Swift, and Frank Ocean.

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In 2010, he released his third full-length album, Heartland, under his own name, after dropping his previous moniker of Final Fantasy. The album is a concept album that tells the story of Lewis, a young farmer who lives in a fictional world called Spectrum, where Owen is the omnipotent narrator and creator. Lewis eventually rebels against Owen and kills him, in a metaphorical exploration of the relationship between the artist and his art.

The Concept and Development of Heartland

Pallett has said that he wanted to create a "preposterous" narrative that has the breadth of a short story by Paul Auster. He also cited British electronic band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark as a major inspiration for the album. He recorded the album in Iceland, with the help of producer Rusty Santos and the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. The album features 12 songs that form a dialogue between Lewis and Owen, as well as two remixes by Max Tundra and Simon Bookish.

As a prelude to the album, Pallett released an EP in 2009 called Spectrum, 14th Century, which is set in the same world as Heartland, but in an earlier time period. He also wrote a song called "Lewis' Dream" for a Flora advert, which serves as an epilogue to the story. Pallett has announced that he is working on a sequel to Heartland, called Island, which will be released in 2021.

The Reception and Impact of Heartland

Heartland received critical acclaim from music critics and fans alike. It was nominated for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize, which Pallett had previously won in 2006 for his album He Poos Clouds. The album was praised for its musical diversity, lyrical complexity, and emotional depth. Some of the standout tracks include "Midnight Directives", "Lewis Takes Action", "The Great Elsewhere", and "E is for Estranged".

Heartland also influenced other musicians and artists who admired Pallett's creativity and vision. For example, singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens said that Heartland was one of his favorite albums of 2010, and that it inspired him to make his own concept album, The Age of Adz. Similarly, rapper Kendrick Lamar said that he listened to Heartland while working on his album To Pimp a Butterfly, and that he appreciated Pallett's storytelling skills.

The Legacy of Owen Pallett and Heartland

Owen Pallett is widely regarded as one of the most innovative and talented musicians of his generation. He has continued to make music that challenges and delights listeners with its originality and beauty. He has also expanded his repertoire to include film scores, such as for Her (2013), The Box (2009), and Spaceship Earth (2020).

Heartland remains one of his most celebrated and influential works, as it showcases his artistic vision and musical mastery. It is a unique and ambitious concept album that explores themes such as identity, creativity, power, and freedom. It is also a testament to Pallett's ability to craft songs that are both catchy and profound, using his voice and violin as his main instruments.

Heartland is an album that deserves to be listened to carefully and repeatedly, as it reveals new layers of meaning and emotion with each listen. It is an album that invites listeners to enter a fantastical world created by Owen Pallett, and to experience the journey of Lewis, the rebellious farmer who challenges his creator.


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