Over Owl City
Minnesota's Adam Young is a study in contradictions. Citing musical inspiration from the likes of Boards of Canada, Prefuse 73 and Sigur Ros, the vegetarian insomniac also claims God, G-rated movies and optimism as real-world influences. Left unsaid in either list are both Postal Services -- the government agency that delivers mail, and the group featuring Ben Gibbard and Dntel. But the latter's lush, electronic emo is a definitive influence on Owl City's own brightly hued, shiver-inducing electro-pop ditties, while the former symbolizes Young's epistolary approach, with every song sounding like a page ripped from his journal and zipped cross-country to a lovelorn crush. On Owl City's debut EP, Of June, Young sang of floating in space in a set that referenced cruise ships, airplanes and nonstop modern motion, sounding at once thrilled with distance and nostalgic for a simpler, stay-at-home lifestyle. He came into his own style with Maybe I'm Dreaming, which found him fleshing out his delicate, catchy sound with acoustic guitars and more intricate songwriting. This is the sound of being young, in love and 110% alive.