For less than a decade, Australian-based singer-songwriter Pete Uhlenbruch has delighted fans with his solo outlet, Owls Of The Swamp. With several full-lengths under his belt, including Go With River and Smoky Bay, Owls Of The Swamp cherishes mesmerizing qualities of indie folk aesthetics that have been comparable to the likes of established musicians such as Nick Drake and Iron & Wine. As a follow-up to his previous work, Uhlenbruch brings forth another OOTS effort, Atlas, which continues to enchant his peers with breathtaking melodies and self-reflexive lyrics.
With his soft-spoken voice acting as a guide throughout Atlas, Uhlenbruch dictates a surreal narrative in songs like “The Hypnotist” and “Shapeshifter” that charms his audience with a soothing lullaby to help them escape from reality. While Atlas draws you in with its captivating poetic qualities, the album’s instrumental delineation is another distinct characteristic that brings a shining light to Uhlenbruch’s intriguing musical approach. To add marvel to his soft-string guitar, the fusion of blissfully inviting piano harmonies analyzed within “Shelter” and “Restless” initiates curious feelings of awe for many to attain.
Found within the closing tracks, Uhlenbruch metaphorically conveys underlying messages of seeking solace through a sense of belonging. Exemplifying these ideals in “Going Home” within the echoing chorus (“There’s a long a way to go/A long way back home”), this song reflects upon a simplistic spiritual journey that centers on the adventurous theme of how one might embark on a personal myth and what they achieve from it as an end result.
Throughout the entirety of Atlas, Uhlenbruch’s serenading vocal variety instantly directs you to a peaceful state of mind. With this release, Owls Of The Swamp provides an uplifting voice for listeners to carry into their hearts while searching for a fulfilling sensation of comfort.