New Leaves
Sep 22, 2009

  • Buy
    180-Gram Black
    • Includes lyric insert.
  • Buy
    • Includes 24-page lyric & photo booklet.
  • Buy
    Red Tint
  • Buy
Show Bundles
All formats include instant MP3 download.

As its title suggests, New Leaves is a new beginning for Mike Kinsella/Owen.

It was recorded over the course of two years by multiple engineers such as Tim Iseler (Wilco), Brian Deck (Iron and Wine), Graeme Gibson (Califone), Nate Kinsella (Joan of Arc, Birthmark), and, yes, some recording at mom’s house.

New Leaves retains elements of earlier Owen material -- but here, the arrangements are more elaborate, the song structures more complex, and the lyrics more refined.

Instead of lamenting failed relationships, Kinsella focuses on the new beginnings they allow.


  • 1
    New Leaves (4:12)
  • 2
    Good Friends, Bad Habits (3:54)
  • 3
    A Trenchant Critique (2:48)
  • 4
    Never Been Born (4:43)
  • 5
    Amnesia and Me (3:41)
  • 6
    Brown Hair in a Bird's Nest (4:30)
  • 7
    Too Scared to Move (3:35)
  • 8
    The Only Child of Aergia (4:06)
  • 9
    Ugly on the Inside (2:56)
  • 10
    Curtain Call (4:12)


Whether constantly questioning or dismissively venting, Kinsella's got a true and clever wit to compliment his writer's eye and musician's ear.

FILTER Magazine

'Brown Hair in a Bird's Nest' lulls you to bed with plaintive, catchy melodies in that creepy way only Owen can conjure: beautifully and drowsily.

Alternative Press

Performed mostly by Kinsella, Owen’s soundtrack is pretty, dreamy, and poignant—Mark Kozelek-esque, perhaps—perfectly complementing the emotional tales...

The Onion AV Club

The literary enthusiast in Kinsella spills his observational guts onto the masterful 'Good Friends, Bad Habits' complete with subtle electronics and interesting percussion.

The Quietus

There's something about Mike Kinsella's treatment of nostalgia, youthful dalliances and getting older that come off timeless. His brand of Chicago-style melodic indie rock hasn't spoiled with age and is as married to its place as no-bullshit D.C. punk, or anthemic New Jersey rock.

Impose Magazine

Musically, New Leaves is the best Owen record by a mile.


Pretend that sound is like a decent whiskey. With 'Good Friends, Bad Habits,' add some synthesizer and electric guitar in a way that doesn’t overpower the basic songwriting and it’s like a little water to fill it out—or bring out the flavor of this figurative whiskey.



  • Good Friends, Bad Habits (3:54)
    Joe Wigdahl