By Krystal Sidzyik, Contributor
Owl City’s Adam Young is a native and longtime resident of Minnesota. Two years ago, he was loading trucks in a warehouse. Now he makes a living creating music and traveling the world.
Young began his career by creating pop/electronic songs in his parents’ basement. He posted the songs to MySpace and iTunes. Soon after, he had a substantial following and was selling 2,000 tracks a week.
Young released his first two albums, “Of June” and “Maybe I’m Dreaming” unsigned, the latter of which reached No. 13 on the U.S. Electronic Albums chart.
In 2009, Young signed wish Universal Republic and released his third album, “Ocean Eyes.” The album’s signature single “Fireflies” sold 650,000 copies on iTunes in its first week and was No. 24 on the list of iTunes’s highest selling songs since 2003.
Young has now released his fourth album, “All Things Bright and Beautiful.” This album contains 13 new tracks that follow his traditional electronic, pop sound, but a new underlying melancholy tone accompanies these tracks.
Young opens his album with “The Real World,” the song that he is most proud of on the new album. It has memorable lyrics and a fanciful sound.
“It says a lot about my whimsical perspective on life in a few words,” Young said. “There’s a line in the song that says, ‘Reality is a lovely place but I wouldn’t want to live there’ and although it’s a bit cheeky, I’d say that’s pretty representational of the way I view reality. I love it to death, but if it were possible, I’d probably spend time in my own world.”
Young hopes his music communicates optimism even though some of his songs feature a “melancholy flavor.” Listeners will find a certain “light at the end of the tunnel” message in every song. “Hospital Flowers” embodies Young’s focus perfectly through lyrics like “But I’d been set free ‘cause grace had finally found its way to me” and “happiness returned to me through a grave emergency.”
The song “Kamikaze,” provides a sort of different sound for Young. It’s more vocally driven and is much faster in tempo. The beats are edgy and bright, which is a nice change of pace since most of Young’s songs are mellow.
Young has come a long way since his first album.
“Aesthetically, the new Owl City material is a lot bigger, punchier and more polished. It’s a mature sound for an electronic/pop hybrid,” Young said. “When I first started, things felt very choppy and awkward, and I think there’s a cohesive quality that’s evolved everywhere from the recording process to live touring.”
When asked if he plans to make music for as long as he can, Young responded, “Yes! Two years ago I was loading trucks in a warehouse, so, needless to say, if I can continue to make records and tour like a madman, I’ll be happy as a clam on the ocean floor.