Debut: Autumn Owls, “Byways of the Lifeless”

In Autumn Owls’ fresh air-infused video for their moody single, “Byways of the Lifeless,” a well-dressed woodland creature fusses about in her rock garden apartment, feeling trapped in an open space by the small things that she eventually wheels away in a spate of fury, headed for the ocean. A single study in the overblown madness of loneliness, “Byways of the Lifeless” fuses a static-y, full sound with folksy, disenchanted vocals and a drumming pathway forward, beaten down. But the girl’s frustration is extreme and too earnest, a parody of pure emotion. Matched with singer Gary McFarlane’s patched-together vocals made up of miscellaneous bits of sadness, it’s drama to the third degree, perhaps purposefully so – a parody of pure emotion – but still daunting.

Shipped in from Dublin to the less salty shores of Chicago, Autumn Owl’s Between Buildings, Toward the Sea will be their first full-length record, following two five-song EPs. Building on their homey vibe, the three-piece band that began in a converted shed have now jumped to Epitonic’s new label for their debut, due out on October 23.