Adam Young will be the first to say his new album, "The Midsummer Station," is a different side of his sound.
Indeed, the pop-filled sound on "The Midsummer Station" marks Young showing a more playful side. The album, his third to debut in Billboard's Top 10, has apparently hit the right chord with his fans too.
"It was kind of a big stretch," Young said by telephone from a stop in New York City. "I've always had 100 percent control of recording and my label would say 'Go away, do your thing, and do your album by yourself.' But sometimes you can get ready for a change. I kind of wanted to try something new ... and see if I could capture a little magic."
That's not surprising when you consider Young, who records as Owl City, has always taken such chances with his music. He recorded his first album in the basement of his parents' Minnesota home and found success through MySpace. His self-released "Maybe I'm Dreaming" reached No. 13 on the Dance/Electronic Albums chart, and his major-label debut, "Ocean Eyes," went platinum thanks to fans including country superstar Taylor Swift.
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Though he and Swift have chatted about collaborating, their schedules have never meshed, he said. On this album, which debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 chart, he teamed with Canadian pop star Carly Rae Jepsen to record the lead single, "Good Times," which quickly went to the top 10 of Billboard's Hot 100 chart.
Of course, Jepsen isn't the only outsider who worked with Young on this album. Of the 11 songs on "The Midsummer Station," he co-wrote eight and used one he didn't write. The final song he wrote himself.
"It was good," he said. "I did all of my co-writing in my own studio, and then did all of the final recording by myself, so I had the best of both worlds."
And that, he said, has brought him to a new place in music.
"Yeah, it is a permanent fork in the road kind of thing," he said. "Maybe I won't make this sound again. Maybe I'll make one more reminiscent of my earlier music. But I don't know. Tomorrow might be something else."