Northern Faces, OWEL
2477 18th St. NW
Washington, DC, 20009
Doors 7:00 PM
This event is all ages
OWEL is a 5-piece band hailing from NJ that takes a unique approach to instrumentation, incorporating orchestral strings and glockenspiel over traditional guitar, drums, and bass.
Although guitarist/vocalist Jay Sakong and drummer Ryan Vargas grew up in the same county of
Middlesex, New Jersey, it wasn't until late 2010 that the two would collaborate musically.
During this time, Jay was attending the Institute of Audio Research in New York, and met fellow
student and guitarist Seamus O'Connor. Before even hearing him play, Jay suggested that
Seamus join him and Ryan in their new musical venture. He explains, "Seamus and I would both
take the same train into the city, and we would just discuss music the whole time. I knew, or at
least seriously hoped, that we both understood what we wanted to create together."
After playing a few shows, they felt something was missing – that's where violinist/keyboardist
Jane Park would fit into the picture. A childhood friend of Jay's, Jane had lost contact with Jay
for years but noticed that his band was playing a set at her local Brooklyn venue and decided to
stop by. Again, even before hearing her play, Jay knew that she was the missing piece of the
puzzle. He says, "She had just played a show herself, so she had this violin strapped to her back
like a rifle." In search of a bass player, the band recruited Nunzio Moudatsos (ex-Late Cambrian),
who would round out the quintet.
The group's self-titled 2013 debut garnered attention from the likes of NPR, Stereogum,
Grantland, and Pitchfork, and continues to build a following around their vinyl release, powered
by boutique label, intheclouds. Additionally, OWEL, released an EP, Every Good Boy, produced
by Mike Watts (As Tall As Lions, The Dear Hunter), on April 28th, 2015, which received much
praise from outlets such as Noisey, Indie Shuffle, PopMatters, and Baeble Music.
OWEL is currently working on their second LP, to be released in the summer, and will be hitting
the road the rest of 2016.