Personal growth seems to be a theme lately for Hannah Owens. The last few years have brought about a lot of change, to say the least. The stresses we’ve collectively shared over the last 18 months alone are enough to put anyone into a fugue state. Add in the complications of relationships and changing homes, the challenges can seem to pile on pretty thickly, and all the emotions that accompany such difficulties can weigh heavily.
Luckily for Owens, she’s found an outlet to help exorcise some of those feelings to avoid being buried by them.
“I had just gone through a breakup, and I was alone and had this empty apartment,” the singer-songwriter explained, “I wrote [the song] ‘Two Spoons’ about some of those feelings. It came from such a vulnerable and, honestly, a very sad place. When I was done with the song, I was still feeling the things that the song was about, but I had also kind of released them. That felt great. I wanted to keep doing that.”
So she did keep doing it, and a few of those songs she’s written as a form of personal therapy make up her debut EP. Time Between was released last week.
Through the EP’s six sweeping tracks — including the aforementioned “Two Spoons” — Owens offers a unique and graceful sound, blending her ever-so-slightly country-tinged vocal delivery over minor blues electric guitar and an immersive, dramatic, almost dream pop production. Owens’ full and confident voice still manages to convey a sincere vulnerability, delivered with unashamed directness. With her elegant tone nestled in producer Ryan Tharp’s shimmering musical accompaniment, the outcome is the ideal vehicle to channel the emotions Owens is working through in her songs.
“I think that lots of people struggle with different things that make them sad,” she said. “Everybody goes through heartbreak. Everybody goes through mental health issues. Everybody struggles, and I wanted to make music that made people feel they had something to relate to, that they weren’t just crazy and on their own.”
However, the self-described “very happy person that sometimes has very sad thoughts” doesn’t dwell on the pain that inspired some of the writing on Time. Instead, she said, she sees those feelings as a sort of road marker along her path of personal development.
“I still totally resonate with what I’m singing about and what I’m saying,” she said of the material, “but I’m also really proud of myself that I’m not in those places anymore. I see it as evidence of how I continue to grow physically, and personally, and to be able to do these things to be healthy and happy.”
One might say Owens was destined to be a performer. As a child, she was a regular cast member on the children’s show Barney and Friends, an experience that she admits, as a working child, probably forced her to grow up a bit faster than she would have wanted but that also is one she’s forever grateful for. In a roundabout way, it also helped prepare her for her career as a musician.
“Singing on TV and singing live are two very different things,” she said. “Not to mention, now I’m writing about my own feelings and singing about them in front of people, which can be terrifying,” she added with a laugh.
After a short stint in Los Angeles pursuing an acting career as a young adult, Owens returned home to Fort Worth and discovered the city’s burgeoning music community and found a new home within it. After performing as a vocalist in local bluegrass outfit Wandering Daisy in the mid-teens, Owens learned to play guitar and began writing her own material, some of which found its way onto the album. Coincidentally, a disdain for her time in L.A. helped forge a bond between her and Tharp, who has his own gripes about Tinseltown, as he spends his time between there and Texas for his own music career. It seemed fitting that the Tharp-composed track “L.A.,” with its refrain of “I don’t want to live in L.A.,” would be included on the EP as well.
With a delayed release of more than a year and a half (Owens received her initial masters just three days before COVID changed the world forever), the singer-songwriter is excited to finally have the album heard. It appears listeners are resonating with the same emotion that Owens tried to work through in the songs.
“I have felt the most loved,” she said of the EP’s response. “I think the response to the record has been more than I could have hoped for. I knew I was really proud of it, and it’s really dramatic and profound, and those are the things people seem to be getting out of it. I’ve gotten a lot of love, and that’s great because I put a lot of love and heartache and time into making it.”