Owl City

Think of Owl City’s Adam Young as a sort of placid, electronica version of Trent Reznor.  He’s nowhere near as badass, but the two are alike in that both men essentially are their band.  That’s right, gang—Owl City is just one dude.

Having seen Moby in concert once by accident, I can guess that a one-man, multi-laptop show doesn’t make for a particularly interesting entertainment experience, as many a message boarder hath complained, but the music itself is catchy, creative, and smart.  See, Young is a legitimate insomniac who started writing music in his parent’s basement to while away the hours spent not sleeping.  They (“they” being doctors and stuff) say the brain is at its most creative in the moments before sleep, so late-night forays into the poetic and musical realm naturally make for a floating, dreamlike sound.

Adam Young

Adam Young

In fact the video for Young’s first major-label single, “Fireflies,” is steeped heavily in insomnia-related imagery, full of the insane yet jovial things that appear to happen when one fails to catch enough z’s.  It’s not only really cool visually, but it’s also super dreamlike and floating.  Like I said.

Anybody who’s into synthesizers accompanied by heavy bass and flip-floppy drum riffs will dig the O.C., as I’ve just now affectionately nicknamed Young’s project.  Plus, the wordplay and multi-syllabic rhymes sprinkled throughout the course of the album, entitled Ocean Eyes, are top-notch.  A few of my favorites:

“With prawns like these, who needs anemones?” (The Bird and the Worm)
“A foxtrot above my head, a soc-hop beneath my bed, a disco ball is just hanging by a thread.” (Fireflies)
“I’ve been to the dentist a thousand times, so I know the drill.” (Dental Care)

Pretty fun, right?  So what if the concert sucks?  The music itself is actually rather lovely—the sort of thing you’d run through your headphones at 1am in bed, half asleep and half awake, tottering between slumber and insomnia.

It’s enough to make you want to start your own one-man band.  With the success of Nine Inch Nails, Owl City, and Dick Van Dyke’s character in “Mary Poppins,” the world really is your oyster.  Personally, I’d name my band “Sexy, Party of One, Your Table is Ready,” and if my imaginary agent said that was too long to be marketable I’d just go with something catchy like “Fire Plaid” or “Iron Mailbox” and save “Sexy, etc.” for my first single.

Good, it’s done.  Glad we got that all cleared up.  Now what were we talking about?

Best Tracks: “Cave In,” “The Bird and the Worm,” “Hello Seattle,” “Dental Care,” “Meteor Shower,” and “Fireflies.”

Check out Ocean Eyes below:

If you like Owl City, you’ll definitely dig The Script!

About the Author

Joel Brigham writes about stuff. It’s pretty much all he cares about. Stuff like music and more music. But he mostly cares about music. And also music.

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