Somewhere to Go is the first full EP from Owl & Mouse, whilst the sound produced has the ability to transform your surroundings from a rain soaked, dreary London day to a radiant beach in Hawaii – it also has the capacity for emotional depth, touching on the topics of love and heartbreak.
Originating from Australian singer-songwriter Hannah Botting, Owl & Mouse is made up of Hannah and her sister Jen on backing vocals, Tom Wade on bass, and Emma Winston on keyboards. The combination evidently works well together; the emotive and daring nature of the lyrics is in complete contrast to the gentle vocals and the soft ukulele.
Don & Anna, a tribute to Mad Men’s Don and Anna Draper, is a delicate ballad dedicated to platonic love, as the beginning track of the EP it outlines its potential and does so to high standard. It does this by progressing from Hannah Botting’s lone raw vocals and ukulele into an uplifting collective sound, the repeated backing vocal creating a spirited atmosphere. Western Skies was written by Hannah for Tom to sing – it addresses the loneliness and displacement she felt when missing her friends and family back in Australia. The female backing vocals accentuates Botting’s rearrangement with the rushed harmonies in between Tom’s final verse. These backing vocals sound like a worried soul and are an echo effectively to herself, as though talking to herself is the only way to expel loneliness.
Don’t Read the Classics focuses on an emotional roller-coaster between an ex-lover, and the vulnerable position she found herself in when battling the disillusionment and the ultimate failure of the relationship. The sharp lyrics against the minimalist sound mean that the words become the focal point, because of this the bitterness in the song sinks itself into your heart and you immediately carry her load as she ponders the inevitable end of the relationship. Finally Terrible Things, the one that you won’t be able to get out of your head due to the wonderful simplicity of it, with just the ukulele and subtle keyboards, makes for a warm and intimate sound, full of hopefulness for the future.
This EP ranges from stunning harmonies and gentle melodies that would soften the coldest heart. The melancholy lyrics are shockingly bold and it is in contrast to the smooth and velvety chime that is produced. It is difficult not to find resonance with Botting in this EP, and the warm nature of the sound and lyrics creates an ambiance that almost makes heartbreak sound beautiful.