Friday, September 25, 2009

A thousand hugs from 10,000 lightning bugs

Scanning the Red Eye today, I saw that Grey's Anatomy darling Kate Havnevick was opening for a band called Owl City last night at Metro in Chicago. Intrigued, I headed over to Owl City's Myspace Page and was quickly blown away.

Bright Eyes-style, Owl City appears to be the name of a one-man band, and that one man is Adam Young, a Minnesota native who creates the perfect poptronica sound I've been hoping for in other bands like Phoenix, Mute Math, and Passion Pit but have always been slightly disappointed by. Until now.

Among Young's listed inspirations are Imogen Heap, Sigur Ros, Cary Grant and optimism, four of my favorite things, so I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised that I love every single track I've heard so far. Young has a very similar voice to Ben Gibbard's (of Death Cab and Postal Service, among other indie exploits), but unlike Gibbard, Young uses his child-like, speak-songish tenor to perfect effect, balancing it with clean, light, happy, major-key electronic pop arrangements that get in your ears and bounce around happy in your brain for hours.

Further research revealed that Owl City's major-label debut album, Ocean Eyes, has a perfect five-star rating from 73 reviewers on Amazon, and the show at Metro was sold out last night, so the secret is out on Young, and yet somehow no one has ever heard of Owl City yet, either. If you fall into the latter camp, do yourself a favor and fix that situation.

Check out this witty video for "Fireflies" (it features a Speak 'N Spell!).

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