Owl City at #1

Posted on: 10/21/09 10:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

“Who the heck is Owl City?”

That’s what I wondered when I saw them in the Top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and at #4 on iTunes early this week. Imagine my surprise yesterday when I opened up iTunes and saw their song “Fireflies” at #1.

Here’s the bizarre part of all of this… Owl City has the reputation of being G-rated. The lyrics are clean, they’ve toured with Relient K… I’m curious if we might have another clean band in the Top 10! Wouldn’t that be cool. (It’s actually pretty sad that I’m getting this excited about something clean making it to the top 10. I guess that reflects on what usually is in the Top 10.)

Apparently Owl City basically consists of Adam Young, a guy who started making music in his parents’ basement. Young’s songs became the buzz on MySpace, reaching play counts in excess of 10 million at the end of 2008. Young/Owl City’s album Ocean Eyes was released on iTunes on July 14, 2009, and debuted at #27 on the Billboard 200. Somewhere along the way, he produced Relient K’s song “Terminals.”

I don’t know much about Young. Some articles refer to him being “upfront about his strong Baptist faith,” and his lyrics never veering “anywhere near objectionable territory.” 

Currently the song is #1 on iTunes (that’s HUGE), knocking three biggies down a notch: The Black Eyed Peas song Meet Me Halfway, Miley’s Party in the USA, and Britney’s trashy little number, 3.

Pardon me for cheering outloud real quick.

Anyone know anything about this guy? I wanna know more!


11 Replies to “Owl City at #1”

  1. I’m so lame, you post something like this, and I download within a few minutes (wonder how many other times it happened). Don’t know much about them, but they sound good to me (reminiscent of something like The Postal Service).

  2. My 19-year-old sister just got their “Ocean Eyes” CD and had me listen to the whole thing in the car with her a couple weeks ago. Great CD! I had heard (and really liked) Fireflies already, but the rest of the CD is just as clean, funny and just different. My sister even agreed with me that it’s so good to finally have a clean song at the top of the charts. To me, they sound like a mix between the Christian 2-man group “Lost and Found” and maybe a “Weird Al” type of thing. Goofy songs, but you can be good with your kids listening to them.

  3. I saw the video (not bad) and my daughter likes them. Do not know much about them though. seem OK not my style of music. But if they are open about their faith then I will encourage my daughter to listen to them.

  4. I personally love Owl City, his music ranges from upbeat and funky to mellow and intro/retrospective! And like Jon said, it’s all clean. While they may not be overtly Christian (I wish someone could find all the answers on that one) the songs are very positive, and a couple sure do point to God and Christian influences.

    For example, “Tidal Wave” (follow link to lyrics along with youtube video of the song – http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/o/owl_city/tidal_wave.html) which has lines such as
    “I forget the last time I felt brave,
    I just recall insecurity
    Cause it came down like a tidal wave and
    sorrow swept over me
    Then I was given grace and love
    I was blind but now I can see
    Cause I’ve found a new hope from above
    And courage swept over me”

    Or check out “Meteor Shower” (again a link – http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/o/owl_city/meteor_shower.html) where the whole song says “I can finally see,
    That you’re right there beside me,
    I am my not own,
    For I have been made new
    Please don’t let me go,
    I desperately need you

    I am not my own,
    For I have been made new
    Please don’t let me go,
    I desperately need you”

    Seeing an Owl City song at #1 encouraged me to do some checking of my own. I’ve known about the band for a little over a year, and everywhere I turn on Facebook, I see youth from previous places I’ve ministered who quote the songs, or say that Owl City makes my day, heck I do it too!

    Here’s a good blog entry by Adam Young, the main member, entitled “Stay Encouraged” it’s worth reading the whole thing . . . to summarize though, this guy just radiates a sense of joy and grace that it makes me feel jealous 🙂 Some glimpses: “What inspires you? What leaves you breathless, overwhelmed, astonished? What lifts you off the ground and dips you waist-deep in grace and amazement?” and, “I wake up every morning, hit my knees, and wholeheartedly thank God for allowing me to do what I do. I am endlessly grateful to Him for the time that has been given to me, for allowing me to be apart of people’s lives in some small way, for blessing me in ways that are utterly indescribable. I am left speechless. Breathless. Overwhelmed.”

    Whether every song is overtly/covertly Christian or not isn’t really the point though, this music is clean, positive, and a lot of students like it, and it’s great to see a group like that have a number one song on iTunes (it’s still #1 by the way) and the cd is currently #3 as well!

  5. The Owl City Myspace says:

    “I follow Jesus Christ wholeheartedly. He is my life, my strength, my all.”


    Air Travel
    Foreign Accents
    Swimming Pools
    Abstract Art
    Wave Race 64
    G-Rated Movies
    Unwed Sailor
    Stars of the Lid
    Telefon Tel Aviv
    Imogen Heap
    DJ Encore
    Prefuse 73
    The Album Leaf
    Sigur Rós
    Boards of Canada
    Kazumi Totaka
    Thomas Newman
    Armin van Buuren
    Rachel Joy Scott
    Audrey Hepburn
    C. S. Lewis
    John Piper
    Jane Langton
    Kenneth Oppel
    Robert Wyland
    Richard Adams
    Cary Grant
    Jackson Pollack
    Hubert de Givenchy
    Carl Sandburg


  6. HE* is amazing. I’ve known about him for almost three years now. He added me on myspace so long ago, and I listened to him and fell in love! 🙂 I’m glad he’s getting the attention he deserves.

  7. i really really like owl city…fireflies is a great song and was co-produced by the lead singer of my favorite band, matt from relient k

  8. hey!!! i love owl city its really great i love the lyrics you know if im going through a hard time i just listen to his music adn it makes me happy adn jut for a few minutes i fell like the world is a wonderfull place to be in im so happy for this man adn that god made him adn put him on this earth for a pourpse adn he is just incredible i really look up to him

  9. I saw that “Fireflies” was #1 on itunes the other day, before Taylor “swiftly gets on my nerves” stormed that chart and thought to myself for a second, “maybe, just maybe, another pop song without a rap interlude” will top the Hot 100…then, I flogged myself for allowing such optimism to reign….YAY…sometimes dreams do come true…I think I feel a unicorn trying to tear its way out of my ars…gotta run!

  10. i love Owl City!
    my friend recently bought Ocean Eyes and let me borrow it, and i have to say i am absolutely in love with it!
    all the way from Cave In to Tidal Wave… the CD is amazing. Dental Care is by far my favorite song of his though.
    Adam Young is one of the best artists ever.
    i mean, from writing music in his parent’s basement to now being one of the selling music artists, he’s really come a long way.
    Adam is definately one of my heroes. and i hope he’ll be making music for a long time. <3

  11. my boyfriend got me into Owl City about 6 months ago. i’m 21, am a Christian, but listen to mostly secular music (rock/electro/reggae). i can’t stand new age “whiney” emo bands like fall out boy, hellogoodbye, and whatever other ones there are, but i LOOOVE Owl City! Adam’s songs never get old!
    I think the fact that his songs are clean with “hints” of his Christian faith will overall be a benefit for him and for those listening. Unfortunately, a lot of young people these days are skeptical about religion because of extremists, wrongs messages being sent out, and all of the negativity towards ‘being religious.’ (I go to a University of 50,000 in Orlando, Fl.. I see it a lot) I’ve noticed that the way to get through to those people is by connecting to them through common interests, being a good role model, and having them become interested in what makes ‘you’ so much different & overall more positive than most people. Because Adam’s songs are all around ‘good-feeling’ songs, they don’t single anyone out, and thus appeal to a greater population. There’s no doubt that his chance at reaching out and getting through to others is much greater than if he were to write ‘predominately’ Christian music.

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