maybe you’ve only heard like “fireflies” and you dont have shit taste and aren’t a coward and so you’ve always hoped i’d make a list of imo extra standout owl city songs; maybe i just wanted to make something like this list even though i didnt try that hard to cut it down and it would change every day and i dont think i dislike any of his songs and could give reasons why i especially like some element of pretty much each of them
Assuming Everyone’s Also Heard: VANILLA TWILIGHT (Ocean Eyes), GOOD TIME (The Midsummer Station)
they’re both amazing. vanilla twilight is intense and good for when you’re looking at a nice sunset and feeling brave. shaq is in the music video. that carly rae jepsen and adam young happened to team up was a great move by whoever initiated it, and good time is iconic, and there’s a version where carly rae jepsen is also singing the chorus and its better but i dont really know how to search for it in particular because its otherwise identical
***HELLO SEATTLE*** (Ocean Eyes)
this was on the radio too so it couldve gone in the above section but it needs its own. im not sure i’d say this is officially my favorite owl city song but if someone hadnt heard anything by owl city this is the one i’d choose to represent his entire vibe and be the first impression. and you’d think nobody could possibly remix it but adam young himself did and its fantastic and relatable even though the only lyrics are the occasional words “hello seattle.” technically the first version of this song is on the album “of june” and theyre both good but i like the ocean eyes version best
DESIGNER SKYLINE (Of June)
the most upbeat song on the album probably. adam young is very very good at lyrics and some elements of this include his imagery, rhythm, alliteration, wordplay, and general ability to make the words in a song both euphonic in the sound along but also be very Pretty content wise. ok im most serious about how good he is with lyrics so maybe i’ll be more concise after this one
FUZZY BLUE LIGHTS (Of June)
owl city songs aren’t depressing or even really Sad even when they’re sad (w/ some exceptions…cough silhouette) but they’re good if you are / have been a Sad Person Who Lives In Their Head because thats what a lot of the songs are about / the perspective theyre from. this one sounds like that and also like an overcast day
***IF MY HEART WAS A HOUSE*** (Ocean Eyes)
the Best love song of the whole discography imo. it goes hard as fuck. i don’t date but for the duration of this song i have a gf/bf/nb-f
THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG (Ocean Eyes)
one of the best and another one of the best love songs. im especially partial to the winter theme now o course. this super cool thing happens in the middle with amazing lyrics and this volume effect. the instrumental versions of this and if my heart was a house are also killer
ANGELS (All Things Bright And Beautiful)
adam young loves jesus a whole lot; this song is about literal christian angels. i love the alliteration of the lines “in the dust on the cellar staircase / a pair of footprints followed me / i saw a flicker in the fake fireplace”. not many owl city songs are from both an upbeat perspective AND have upbeat music, and this one’s chorus really goes for it. adam y.’s pretty excited about jesus stuff i think and so when he channels that in songs especially about jesus, it’s pretty energetic. but for the most part his songs arent overtly christian save maybe some passing references, so if thats a concern dont worry
for example, this one definitely has a jesus line. but this is just one of the references to an unspecified “he” which means it could also just be interpreted as gay. (owl city belongs to the gays btw) and this really is a song to go ham to and listen to it with stereo speakers because one of my fave parts relies on that. the intro is a bit jarring because the outro of “january 28, 1986” is meant to transition into this one
DEMENTIA (The Midsummer Station)
i’d put this as a highlight but recognize its coz its a personal fave. it sounds like it would be incredibly depressing of course but it has nothing to do with actual dementia thank god. it’s a love song and very upbeat in both sound and content. i’m hugely partial to the lyrics, especially the pairs “every light in the night flickered in and out / every bone in my back shivered up and down”; “every voice in my head shouted yes and no / every freight train of thought fought to stop and go”; “every tear in my eyes dripped and wouldn’t drop / every disc in my spine shook and couldn’t stop” and “every hand let me go that i tried to hold / every warm-hearted love left me freezing cold”
KISS ME BABE, IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME (single)
he has a bunch of random christmas singles and this ones the best. the titles ridiculous and i love it, and the song isn’t really about anything and i love it. it is such a bop. “peppermint winter” and “humbug” are the other best xmas ones
SHOOTING STAR (Midsummer)
half the songs on this album are summery dancey songs about having fun with other people (usually owl city songs are about being lonely or having fun with one other person tops by cloudwatching, so this album is unusual in that regard and rocks out a bit which is also unusual as per owl city’s tendency to sound really dreamy or otherwise fairly light. it bothers people who are in the “the old stuff is better” camp of everything) and the other half are upbeat summery songs that are encouraging and tell you you’re a good and special person. this one is the latter and a lot of fun. i like the lyrics and melody of the lines “fan a flame so hot it melts our hearts” and “let your colors burn and brightly burst / into a million sparks that all disperse / and illuminate a world that’ll try to bring you down” (but not this time)
same category song as above (title refers to “i know you’re gold”). it’s great and sung to a person about to go off and do something and you’re telling them they can totally do it because they’re great. i maintain that one of the Owl City Signature Moves is The Affectionate Sigh: he’s very good at working in words sung with a rising/falling tone, a la a sigh, and its an upbeat delivery not like a “im sad” sigh. when it happens in this song is my favorite part of the whole thing, at the end of the line: “you’ll never be far, i’m keeping you near, inside of my heart, you’re he^re”
BEAUTIFUL TIMES (Ultraviolet EP)
the songs on ultraviolet all have a super cool sound, kind of mixing the more loud/layered/noisy quality of midsummer station with the more introverted vibe he usually has, and are all kind of about being stressed and sad but looking to something or someone and kind of seeing a chance to feel okay. “this isn’t the end” is completely about a girl who’s dad kills himself but it has the really good line “you fight to survive cuz you made it this far” and otherwise has a technically uplifting end but without much of the “you shouldnt kill yourself because life is magical” bs which is useless and irrelevant imo but instead the “life is chaotic and you cant say the future is going to be good but it exists and meanwhile you’re not dead yet” which is an infinitely more thoughtful approach. but anyways, about beautiful times: its also about being happy but usually being really sad (“this fight of my life is so hard (so hard, so hard) but i’m gonna survive, oh oh these are beautiful times,”) and also isnt very patronizing about the subject (the prospect/aspiration of feeling happy when you’re a Sad Person) and frames everything in having had damagingly negative feelings while still being overall positive. i really like the way he sings into the first few verses with an echo of what will be the first couple of words, overlapping slightly and growing in volume before taking you right into the actual start of the verse. this is the most upbeat sounding song of the EP imo
THUNDERSTRUCK (Mobile Orchestra)
the intro alone is killer. one of the most Go Hard to songs of the owl city discography. proudly carries the tradition of singing about ghosts (see: plant life, a fun-to-sing-along-to song all about an actual haunted house)
BACK HOME (Mo Orch)
this album has a lot of sounds that, while familiar, are different from any of the other albums, like this one which is very very country. it goes hard as fuck. it uses the word “fireflies” for the first time since fireflies. i love it
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT YOU (M.O.)
personal fave of the album is mostly why this is here. as the title suggests its a dramatic love song, i love how pumped the chorus is and the way the outro sounds. Love To Sing Along
***WHEN CAN I SEE YOU AGAIN?***
this is peak “happy music, sad lyrics” even though thats everywhere in owl city music, its pretty rare to find songs that are straightforwardly happy. this song is a banger and lyrically crushing. i guess its in the “bittersweet” category like a shit ton of owl city songs are, but still. this song changed our lives
I HOPE YOU THINK OF ME
has this sick chill drumbeat throughout the song which is kind of rare. it kind of fuses his underwater type sound with his going hard as hell sound. like, it would be like the choreography of “bet on it” if i was listening to this song while standing up. you get really into the lyrics. i love this part at the end where the music pulls back for just a second while he goes “the thought is KILLING me!” shoutout to “kamikaze” where he yells half of it and its invigorating, shoutout to “paper tigers” which is an amazing song that hasnt shown up on an album
SUNBURN (Ocean Eyes)
possibly the cutest owl city song. it has a sweet guitar riff. cute sweet, not sickass sweet.
HOT AIR BALLOON (Ocean Eyes)
possibly the happiest owl city song. extremely cute but not as cute as sunburn but happier than sunburn.
killer intro, really upbeat, the melody of the verses is great and the chorus goes pretty hard
RAINBOW VEINS (Maybe I’m Dreaming)
another top level cute and happy song (“cheer up and dry your damp eyes, and tell me when it rains, and i’ll blend up that rainbow above you, and shoot it through your veins”) and has a top tier chilled out whispery interlude/bridge/whatever that then throws you into this pumped up finale
THE YACHT CLUB (ATBAB)
speaking of being thrown into a pumped up finale, this does that too. so does “umbrella beach.” this one goes hardest imo and the live version of it goes even harder than that. plus the lyrics are amazing and the alliteration is stellar
***SUPER HONEYMOON*** (Maybe I’m Dreaming)
consistently one of my top tier faves. i like the semi staccato delivery of parts of the lyrics, the music is fantastic, also very Classic Example of owl city
SKY DIVER (MID)
super dreamy and pretty and bittersweet sounding, classic
a bop!!! electronica on electronica
so fun and sounds like a song to be going to the beach to
YOUTOPIA (ft. Adam Young)
obvs not owl city but i’m putting it in, the full 4 min version. not only dreamy and bittersweet but one thing i always love in music is an unresolved musical phrase repeating on end. there’s also this part in the middle where his vocals kind of layer and grow and it has a long E sound and when he lingers on the long E its one of those things that would be grating except for its actually great because of that. see: honey and the bee
MR. HEARTACHE (ft. Adam Young)
a total bop about being sad. like i wanna jump around to this song. see: tokyo, the song by adam young (owl city) featuring the artists of this one, SEKAI NO OWARI, which has my fave lyric “are you having fun yet, i’ll send you the sunset, i love the most”
FIREFLIES (Said the Sky remix)
the intro to this is like, oh my god. the only fireflies remix the world needs.
UMBRELLA BEACH (Long Lost Sun remix)
the original is great but i love this version even more. the finale is fantastic and exuberant
THAT’S IT i could include all the songs because i have good things to say and specific things to point out about each of them. for example: dental care is a masterpiece of puns. puns are a running theme in owl city. so is ghosts, the sky, the ocean, and The Affectionate Sigh. if you listen to enough songs you find repetitions of certain phrases like “oh darling i wish you were here,” “i feel like a postcard, i wish you were here,” “like hundreds of postcards, that say i wish you were here” and someone should make a post of all of them. it would be me if i had a laptop. anyways i like owl city you’re welcome for this post
*Releases a song for Fathers Day, talking about how much he admires and loves his dad and considers him a hero, and appreciates everything he's done for him*
ugh this is so bland and uncreative, just like all of Mobile Orchestra and TMS :// i thought he'd do something similar to his work on Ocean Eyes and ATBAB but nope i guess he's gonna stick with boring music and lyrics with no meaning ://
If you are going to ANY of the remaining concerts on the Mobile Orchestra tour then please read this!
As you guys have probably heard or seen by now, Adam hasn’t really been his usual excited bubbly self while performing on this tour. But recently at the Chicago leg of the tour a group of people say on the floor during This Isn’t the End. And more and more people joined and say with them. Adam had his eyes closed and was so into the song refused to open them.
I think it would be amazing if at each of the rest of the concerts to have everyone sit on the floor during This Isn’t the End. It’s by far the most personal song, and it is one of Adam’s favorites. Of all the songs on the track list I truly believe that This Isn’t the End deserves the most respect, and what better way to do that by sitting on the floor, not saying a word or screaming along with the lyrics, just soaking in every note that Adam sings.
I get that some places might be cramped standing, but It’s just for one song and even if Adam has his eyes closed when it happens and doesn’t see it, he’ll know it happened.
Please try and spread this word around. I think it would be the most amazing thing if we could make this happen.
I am beyond excited to share with you the Owl City shoes that I painted for the one and only Josh (@TapThatJosh on Twitter)! I worked so diligently on these for him, and I am absolutely enthralled with how well they turned out! They are probably my best pair yet! They feature the Ocean Eyes cover and the All Things Bright and Beautiful cover, with the inside cover of OE on the OE one and galaxies on the ATBAB shoe. The paper airplanes are a reference to Sky Sailing. I am so abundantly overjoyed with these and literally cannot believe that they turned out this well!
The title is definitely pulled a little from the book of the same name by James Herriot, although to be honest, I never read that particular book in the series; I was more familiar with the original poem-slash-hymn that the book is associated with. The title definitely spoke to me.
Kind of the way that it was with Ocean Eyes, I created these mile-long texts on my laptop with titles and ideas. Then I looked at them later with fresh eyes to see what jumped out at me. This time, All Things Bright And Beautiful did just that. It says a lot.
All Things Bright And Beautiful || Owl City
Release Date: June 14, 2011
I find it fascinating how some people think of daydreaming or “escapism” as a reckless way of turning one’s back on responsibility, but for me, it couldn’t be more opposite. The idea of going to/returning from a place in my head where everything is beautiful and absolutely perfect has an uncanny way of influencing almost EVERYTHING I do, whether it be creating music or writing lyrics or even living life day to day. I love imagining what the world would be like if things were in fact perfect because it makes me WANT to do whatever I can to fulfill that dream in and around my own life.
The line, “Reality is a lovely place but I wouldn’t want to live there” is a fun way of saying I appreciate life exactly as it is, and although I can’t change the world by any means, I can touch it. It’s merely my way of dealing with things by proclaiming I can’t keep the dark days from happening or the frustrations from occurring, but I can fix my eyes on that one blue patch of sky and thus keep my eyes focused on what truly matters.