New EP Eighteen Wheeler finds Bones Owens in an earnest place, with his melody-driven Americana more cinematic and evocative than ever. From its contemplative title track to the swampily ominous standout, “Bring Me Back,” Eighteen Wheeler marks a sophisticated sonic shift that hints at Owens’ sophomore full-length, due in summer 2024.
A product of his country roots and 90’s alternative rock leanings, Owens cut his teeth crafting songs in middle school garage bands in rural Missouri. This duality still remains, artfully illustrated in a persistent refusal to be held to a single lane.
Owens' chameleon-like approach has not only shaped his music but also paved the way for diverse collaborations, spanning from artists such as Yelawolf, Mikky Ekko, and Jelly Roll, to appearing on tours with Kaleo, Koe Wetzel, and Whiskey Myers.
A pair of self-released solo EPs and a relentless tour schedule attracted the attention of Thirty Tigers (Jason Isbell, Smashing Pumpkins, etc.), who released Bones’ eponymous debut album in 2021.
While a departure from the more raucous, made-for-the-stage stylings of his debut, throughlines of sincere storytelling and evocative lyricism still permeate Eighteen Wheeler, released by Thirty Tigers on Dec. 1.
Echoes of Owens’ early folk-driven EPs are clearly present, yet this decidedly delicate and vulnerable six-song record is his most heartfelt and distinctive to date.