OWL came into existence last summer when Matthew MacDonald made a few tracks on his computer and convinced girlfriend Vanessa Murnaghan to write lyrics for them. After an initial bout of nerves, the pair had a song and sent it around to friends. "They liked it," says Murnaghan, "so we just kept making more."
Murnaghan says it's sometimes "intimidating" writing with MacDonald, who plays as one half of The Superfantastics. "Matt is this amazing songwriter, and I'm just a dweeb who doesn't know anything about music," she says.
OWL's songs feature a quiet underbelly of synth and threads of guitar, while Murnaghan's low, sweet voice sings about friends and lovers. "Goodbye Bye" is the standout here---MacDonald's synth hook is MGMT-catchy, while the lyrics---"I can't catch it, I can't catch it"---are made for singalongs.
The pair will embark on a mini-tour to PEI and New Brunswick this month and an album is in the works for the fall. Murnaghan says she's getting more relaxed all the time. "If I hadn't started a band with Matt when we did, I probably never would have," she says. "He has encouraged me a lot."