Hip artists like Lizzo, Poliça, and Hippo Campus get all the local love, but Owl City - that unlikely synth-pop megastar from Owatonna - remains Minnesota's biggest Top 40 export since ... dear god ... Semisonic? Did the Minnesota pop recession really span from 1998, the year Semisonic dropped "Closing Time," to 2009, when Owl City released "Fireflies"? ("Too Close" by Next arrived in 1997.) Readers: Get at me if that's not the case, but it's certainly looking to be.
See also: Owl City's Reclusive Adam Young Opens Up
Anyway, the real-life Adam Young struck pop gold again in 2012 with the Carly Rae Jepsen-featuring jam "Good Time," a song that's on par with "Everything Is Awesome" from The Lego Movie in terms of sociopolitical heft. And yesterday Owl City premiered "Verge," the lead single from his forthcoming fifth album, Mobile Orchestra, due July 10. The song (and especially the video, posted below) channels Vitamin C vibes in that it goes hard after sentimental grads. Dads, the other reason for the season, probably won't relate to the tune, which features guest vocals from R&B star Aloe Blacc.
Early on, Owl City was forced to dance around constant charges of ripping off the Postal Service. On the propulsive, club-y, and chorus-heavy "Verge," the once painfully shy Young, 28, takes a swing for the dance-pop fences. The video features him hitting the club with semi-convincing results while murky/schmaltzy plot lines about visual artists and graduates interlace with some next-level gratuitous product placement - they're admiring an HP laptop ON THE DANCE FLOOR! Gaaa.
But let's not quibble about the merits of "Verge," with its whistle hook and opaque message about the auspiciousness of youth. It'll be a big radio/eventual supermarket aisle hit, though likely not the Song of the Summer. It's something to be grateful for, too, as Owl City is the lone Twin Cities act - at least until Lizzo or Allan Kingdom takes over the world - keeping us represented on the pop charts.
GIMME NOISE'S GREATEST HITS