Christopher Owens – “Stephen”

Last year, after leaving his old band, the former Girls frontman Chrisopher Owens released the I-wish-it-was-better solo debut Lysandre. That album has its defenders, and it had plenty of strong moments, but it was still, at least from where I was sitting, a frustrating piece of work from an artist who, I know, could do way better. But we’re already hearing rumblings that whatever Owens does next will be better. Back in March, he shared a jaw-dropping new song called “It Comes Back To You.” And now, with no extra info, he’s given us another one, a towering and beautiful gospel-rock hybrid called “Stephen.” As far as I can tell, it’s a eulogy for Owens’s younger brother, who died at age two, when Owens and his family were deep in the Children Of God cult. On listen number three, I’m about ready to call it one of the best songs Owens has ever written. It will crush your heart, and you can hear it below.

It’s OK to cry.