OWL CITY EXPERIENCE:
Members: Adam Young
Hometown: Owatonna, Minnesota
Albums: Maybe I'm Dreaming (2008), Ocean Eyes (2009)
Young fans of the recent synth-pop movement already know of the charming stage presence and driving rhythms of the American music project Owl City. Relying mostly on a series of synthesizers and a few accompanying musicians, Adam Young has made a name for himself in recent years, and is set to continue his upcoming tour to meet the demands of a growing fan base.
Just a few short years ago, Young, in his early twenties, lived in his parent's basement in his hometown of Owatonna, Minnesota, and gained income working at a Coca-Cola warehouse. Capitalizing on his insomnia by filling flash drives with concoctions of electronic music, and using MySpace as a springboard, Young went viral after a few key tracks gained internet fame.
By 2008, Owl City had released and EP and an album, Of June and Maybe I'm Dreaming, which reached number 20 and number 16 on the Billboard Electronic Albums chart, respectively. In 2009, Young signed with the major recording label Universal Republic, with whom he would get his first taste of mainstream success.
Owl City's label debut, Ocean Eyes, which featured the hit single "Fireflies," debuted at number 27 on the Billboard 200 when it was released in July 2009. "Fireflies" soared to the top of the U.S. charts and briefly became the most downloaded song on iTunes in the U.S. By 2010, the album had gone gold in the U.S., and the hit single reached the top spot of the UK Top 40 Singles chart.
With Owl City, Young's music greets listeners in waves and layers of electronic flairs and embellishments, accompanied by simple and syrupy lyrics. Unlike other synth-pop composers, Young substitutes dynamic rhythms for cascading effects to drive his catchy music. More recent songs make a slight departure from purely electronic sound by featuring acoustic guitars, piano and drums over signature drum loops.
At live shows, his shy, stammering stage presence exudes a family-friendly charm that can be adorable to both die-hard fans and their parents.
As Adam Young prepares to release its latest album, An Airplane Carried Me to Bed, on July 13 2010, Owl City has hit the stage across the U.S. to bring their national hits to local venues. The musical act has toured with Lights and Deas Vail, and will be traveling with John Mayer beginning in August.