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Robert DeLong combines pop, electronic tunes

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Entertainment,Music,Robert Fulton

Robert DeLong admits to being a little obsessive when it comes to recording. There have been times when he's spent eight hours locked in a studio, only to have his girlfriend come and pull him out.

"It's a labor of love," said musician, speaking by phone while in Amsterdam earlier this week. "It's definitely lots of fun."

DeLong performs Saturday as part of the Sweetlife Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion.

If connoisseurs could have the foresight to predict the future of music, it could very well be that of DeLong. Named an artist to watch by organizations that make such proclamations, he combines elements of rock, pop and electronic dance, with hints of house, moombahton and dubstep.

If you go
The Sweetlife Festival
» Where: Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia
» When: Doors at noon on Saturday.
» Info: $75 to $150; sweetlifefestival.com
Headliners on the main stage include Phoenix, Passion Pit, Kendrick Lamar, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Gary Clark Jr. The Treehouse stage is headed by Robert DeLong, MS MR and more.

"What I always say, it's sort of indie songwriter meets electronic dance music with kind of a wild electronic performance," DeLong said. "I don't know if that actually means anything.

"It's a lot of different things," DeLong continued. "It's very song based, which is different than I think of electronic dance music. It definitely has a lot of the electronic elements as well, as far as the sound and utilizing a lot of those electronic styles. Overall it's traditional songwriting, too. Verse, chorus. Vocals are the focal point."

DeLong's debut album, "Just Movement," dropped in February. He recorded everything on the album, and performs solo.

DeLong grew up in Seattle, listening to the early 2000s rock scene, which featured the likes of Death Cab for Cutie and Modest Mouse. His background is that of a jazz drummer, and anything from "Popular Mechanics" to TED Talks inspire his lyrics.

"I think I've always avoided traditional relationship songs," DeLong said. "I feel it's always hard for me to talk about my lyrics. It's easier for me to write them."

With jazz and rock influences, DeLong said the electronic aspect of his music is most rewarding in the studio.

"The electronic thing, it definitely harkens back to being more of a composer in a way," DeLong said. "You spend a lot of time working out minute details. You get to think about sound in a different way."

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