2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

New Music: Owl City

By Derek Baker, July 30 2015 —

Adam Young’s latest album, Mobile Orchestra, comes at a time when the electronic music scene is dominated by bass-heavy electronic dance music (EDM). Young, better known as Owl City, tries to keep pace with the evolving scene by adding pounding synth loops and drum machines to his work.

Young has produced music under a variety of names since the early 2000s, but didn’t find success until  he formed Owl City in 2007.  Since then, his sound has moved towards his contemporaries, shifting from light electronica to heavily produced EDM.

ENT_OwlCity_WEBThough Owl City’s sound has matured, the lyrics haven’t. Many of the songs are club tracks, but it’s hard to get down to lyrics like “when I was a kid I ate Spaghetti-Os, played laser tag and GI Joe’s,” from the nostalgic  track “Unbelievable.” Old fans of Owl City will still enjoy the quirky attempts at sincerity, which haven’t changed since Young’s early work.

Mobile Orchestra features collaborations from a mix of different artists, including pop singer Aloe Blacc in “Verge,” country singer Jake Owen in “Back Home” and Christian-pop singer Britt Nicole in “You’re Not Alone.”

Guest vocalist and regular collaborator Breanne Düren is notably missing from the album. Though she tours with Owl City to provide female vocals, this is the second album in a row where Düren isn’t featured in any of the songs. Instead, established EDM vocalist Sarah Russell
takes Düren’s place in the song “Thunderstruck,” one of the album’s highlights.

Other strong tracks include the trance-influenced “Can’t Live Without You” and the electronic ballad “Bird With A Broken Wing.”

Although fans may not be happy with the change in sound, they can take solace in the fact that Mobile Orchestra is produced by Young alone, a statement to his passion and musical talent. In a scene full of cookie-cutter pop, this talent helps Mobile Orchestra stand above the rest.


Hiring | Staff | Advertising | Contact | PDF version | Archive | Volunteer | SU

The Gauntlet