Adam Young says he “felt a different kind of pressure than I ever have before” in making his third Owl City album, “All Things Bright and Beautiful.” But he tried his best not to let it get the best of him.
“I think it could’ve been pretty scary if I ever let it affect me in a negative way,” says Young, 24, whose last Owl City release, 2009’s “Ocean Eyes,” went platinum and launched the No. 1 hit “Fireflies.” “Once ‘Fireflies’ really blew up and connected with people, suddenly there was this sort of unspoken pressure from the label and from everybody involved — ‘We want to do that again!’
“It was a little bit of a scary thing at first, but I tried to turn that into fuel on the fire and let it kind of propel my imagination and my creativity, just making sure that I was continuing to write from the heart and from a very pure, genuine place rather than write for the charts or trying to capture another ‘Fireflies,’ just for the sake of success.”
Young was, fortunately, able to insulate himself and the recording process by doing it at his home studio in Owatonna, Minn., where he did nearly everything himself while also bringing in a few guests such as Lights and Relient K’s Matthew Thiessen.
“Getting out of my parents’ basement (where he made ‘All Things...’) was probably the most healthy option, and finding a basement of my own was probably the next best thing,” Young says. “It’s the perfect atmosphere to come home to after touring and just the best place to isolate myself and let the gears turn and the ideas crank and let the songs write themselves.
“So ultimately I think creating this new record in this very positive, very comfortable artistic atmosphere really modeled it into something that feels a lot more genuine than it may have otherwise felt had I gone to some big studio in L.A. or New York.”
Owl City, Mat Kearney and Unwed Sailor perform Wednesday, June 29, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.
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