The Private World of Paradise, the first full-length offering from Wake Owl, is a mellow album with rich layers and sombre lyrics. But there is something to be said for melancholy, and there is something to be said for music that can invoke such feelings without sending its listener into a tailspin of sadness. The 11 songs have a restrained but funky vibe, written by frontman Colyn Cameron with accompaniment by multi-instrumentalist Aiden Briscall. “Candy” is a definite highlight with its 70s groove, silky vocals, and dreamy string arrangement—it’s perfect. The song returns at the end of the album as a stripped-down instrumental. “Oh Baby” has a mysterious swing that would fit perfectly in the soundtrack of a Tarantino film. Wake Owl’s restrained tempos invite dimmed lights and a glass of red wine, and will fit in your album collection with The Shins and The Flaming Lips.

-Michelle McChristie