Christopher Owens Releases 'Lysandre'
By Jay Schwartz
Frontman of now-defunct indie band Girls, Christopher Owen debuts his first solo album, Lysandre today (listen to a track here). The album covers the first tour of Girls and a love affair with a Frenchwoman named Lysandre (although he's had relationships with guys in the past).
As he explains to the New York Times, his religious upbringing had a profound effect on his musical education but surely don't limit his progressive attitude and aesthetic.“I want to be somebody who writes about his life, at his own pace and who can decide to make an album like this when he wants to,” Owens, 33, said.
In Girls song "Lust for Life," Owens sings "I wish I had a boyfriend," and he is known for his his long blond hair that often gives him an androgynous look which the Times (and many others) likens to a "slightly cleaner Kurt Cobain."
Lysandre is reminiscent of the pastoral sounds of indie favorites St. Vincent and Real Estate. The album starts off with a 40-second Baroque-inspired piece that weaves itself into each subsequent song that shapes some of the pieces into short quasi-Chorale sound bites.
Though born in Miami, Owens spent most of his childhood abroad traveling with his family, active members of the Children of God religious movement. Owens currently bases himself in San Francisco spends hours each day at Golden Gate Park and the AIDS Memorial Grove, according to the Times story. He previously lived in Amarillo, Texas, where he met eccentric oil millionaire Stanley Marsh 3—known for art installations such as the buried cars of Cadillac Ranch and for employing young men. Owens became his personal assistant and calls Marsh a "best friend" and a "father figure."
“He was definitely the first person to ever really care about me and to give me support,” Owens explained in the interview. “He single-handedly turned my life around, just by encouraging me to read books or being creative instead of being mad about the world.” Although Marsh is now being sued for sexual assault of children, but Owens says the case is a mystery to him and their relationship was purely platonic.
Hedi Slimane, the new director of Saint Laurent Paris (formerly Yves Saint Laurent), plans to use Owens as the voice and face for the Spring/Summer line, releasing this promotional video set to Girls' "Just a Song." Watch it below: