Owen and Into It. Over It. are the respective solo projects of prominent Chicago-based songwriters Mike Kinsella and Evan Weiss — two musicians who are equally at ease performing on their own as they are sharing the stage in bands such as Cap’n Jazz, American Football and Owls (for Kinsella), and The Progress, Stay Ahead of the Weather, and Pet Symmetry (for Weiss).
Having already joined forces to form the trio Their / They’re / There with guitarist Matthew Frank in 2013, for their latest collaboration Kinsella and Weiss each recorded a brand new track in addition to a cover of a favorite song from the other artist’s extensive catalog.
The Owen original “Poison Arrows” highlights Kinsella’s caustic wit (“Did you wear that dress for me / Or is someone else writing you songs?”) over crystal clear accompaniment from an acoustic guitar, piano, and drums. For his cover of “Anchor,” Kinsella transforms the tranquil acoustic standout from Into It. Over It.’s album 52 Weeks into a full-on electric rocker replete with punk speed drums and shouted vocals during the chorus.
As Into It. Over It., Weiss contributes “Local Language,” an uptempo tune with a vaguely alt-country stomp, as well as “Poor Souls,” which re-imagines the beautifully ornamented version found on Owen’s 2002 full-length No Good For No One Now as a bleary-eyed slow burner tinged with keyboards and melancholy.