If you accused me of having a bit of a man-crush on Adam Young, I wouldn’t object. Every year around this time, Adam Young and his various music projects dominate my iPhone and laptop whenever I’m in the car, writing, or otherwise. The last two summers I have had the opportunity to go to a couple of Owl City concerts and they have been awesome.
Here is a bit of video I got right at the beginning of the concert I saw in Minneapolis this summer. It was cool being so close. Stood in line for like 4 hours:
The concerts are always a ton of fun.
So, in honor of it being almost summertime weather and such, and because I have recently discovered some awesome Adam Young side project stuff, I wanted to make a list of 10 of my favorite Adam Young songs. Most of these will be from his most popular band, Owl City, but a few of them won’t be. I always remember when I was first introduced to him in high school, I knew I had found one of my favorite musicians of all time–the dude is inspired by Armin van Buuren, my favorite trance-techno artist of all time, and John Piper, one of my favorite pastor/theologians of all time. Definitely a good sign.
Without further ado, I present to you my 10 favorite Adam Young tracks of all time (this list is subject to change as I discover more):
#10. In the Dolphin Tank by Port Blue — Port Blue is one of Adam’s lesser-known side projects, and a couple of the songs are fantastic. He has always said making “elevator music” is by far his favorite type of music to make, and Port Blue fits into that category. I like this track a lot. I’m not sure what draws me to it though. I enjoy it. I think it might be the title and imagining someone swimming in a dolphin tank. I’m not sure.
#9. If My Heart Was a House by Owl City — You’ll see a number of “heartbroken ballads,” as I like to call them, on this list, and this is definitely one of my favorites, which is why it’s on this list in the first place. Though, this one isn’t particularly heartbroken, but definitely a love tune. Imagery is great here.
#8. On the Wing by Owl City — I love this song because, like some of the others toward the bottom of this list, it was one of the first ones I ever heard and has a special nostalgic value to it. Classic.
#7. Brielle by Sky Sailing — This is one of the first songs I heard from one of Adam’s more popular side projects, Sky Sailing. I really like the song. It just has a nice flow to it and is really easy to (try) to sing along to.
#6. Lonely Lullaby by Owl City — This is another one of my favorite hearbroken ballads. I don’t know the backstory fully, but Anne Marie was Adam’s girl, left him or something, and the true sadness in this song comes through so clearly; I really admire his ability to communicate the emotion. Sorta depressing, but beautiful, I think.
#5. The Yacht Club by Owl City — This song is one of my favorites because it was definitely the most fun song live in concert, which is why the video I’m sharing is from a concert in L.A. (pay no attention to the second half of the video as it is another song). My favorite part about this song live was the mini dance session toward the end where everyone in the crowd was just going nuts with the techno bit. At the concert in Indy, they extended it to like twice the length of what it is in the normal song and it was really cool. Love it. So much fun. Also, some of the lyrics are just so creative and the wordplay often reminds me of Relient K, which makes sense cuz he’s friends with Matt Thiessen.
#4. Strawberry Avalanche by Owl City — This song is, in my mind, very much along the same lines as Hot Air Balloon. I love this song because of some of the imagery and the ways in which the words engage my senses, particularly the thought of an avalanche of strawberries. Because this, along with Hot Air Balloon, was one of the first songs I ever heard from Adam Young and Owl City, it holds a special place in my heart. It also has a sweet hook to it.
#3. In Christ Alone by Adam Young– In Christ Alone by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend is my favorite hymn of all time, without a doubt. We will be singing it at the wedding in June. When I found out a little more than a year ago that Adam had posted a cover of the hymn to his blog, I had to listen. It was everything I hoped it would be. Love his rendition of this hymn of the Church. Check it out.
#2. Vanilla Twilight — Definitely my favorite “heartbroken ballad.” I love some of the imagery in this track and the honest emotion that so clearly comes through. And I mean come on, my favorite basketball player of all time is in the music video, yet another odd connection between Adam’s interests and mine, haha.
#1. Hot Air Balloon by Owl City — This is far and away my favorite track by Adam Young. Nothing really even comes close. I think the reason it’s so special to me is that it is one of the first ones I ever heard and it is, in my mind, the musical embodiment of everything summer. Nothing makes me thing of summer like this song. Beautiful summer nights on the porch getting bitten by mosquitos and days of laughter and freedom. Summer in a song. Nothing better.
A couple of tracks that I didn’t include on here because they are technically by someone else but he is featured on them: Youtopia by Armin van Buuren and All About Us by He Is We. These two tracks definitely should be on my Top 10, but I disqualified them because of this technicality. Love the songs though.
All About Us:
Thanks for reading! Have a great day!