Transcendentalism In Owl City

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Transcendentalist Owl City In the 1840’s, writers and thinkers in the literary world started to think outside of the box, even more so than Romanticism. This movement is Transcendentalism, a philosophical movement based in New England that later migrated to America. Transcendentalists believed that intuition and the individual conscience could “transcend” experience, making them better guides to truth than logical reason. They were also called Romantic Transcendentalists because they respected romantic ideals, such as independence, individuality, and nature. They believed that man must think independently in order to truly learn about the world. Two of the most influential transcendentalists were Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau,…show more content…
One of these people is Adam Young, also known as Owl City. Owl City is an American electronica project created by Adam Young, who is the solo writer, composer, recorder, and producer of all the music within the project. Young created the project in 2007 when experimenting with music in his parent’s basement. After developing a following on MySpace, he was able to sign on with Universal Republic Records in 2008 (Sisario). Since then, he has made many songs of different tones and meanings. Many of his songs and actions align immensely with transcendentalist ideals, including appreciation, independence, individualism, nonconformity, and being one with nature.
One transcendentalist ideal that Young represents is appreciation. Emerson used the example of stars to explain how important appreciation is, saying, “If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown” (Nature 498). Starting in November
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Even though it is in solitude, he can be rejuvenated, and it helps him to be in that place. In another one of his songs, “Cave In,” he sings about how he can leave a bad situation if needed. Lyrics to this song includes, “Tie my handlebars to the stars so I stay on track (so I stay on track) / And if my intentions stray I'll wrench them away / Then I'll take my leave and I won't even look back” (“Cave In”). Despite his issues and troubles, he can get through them. A third transcendental ideal that Young represents is individualism. According to Emerson, “To be great is to be misunderstood” (“Self-Reliance” 555). By this quote, Emerson means that individuality is important for every person to know and be themselves. Young was one of the first worldwide musicians to write electronic pop music that ended up on the radio. According to Owl City’s website, Young “quietly became one of pop’s most ubiquitous voices, selling over 2.5 million albums and 18 million singles globally” (“About Owl City”). Because of this, him and Owl City creates considerably different music and has a much different reputation than common pop and electronic musicians. For example, one of Young’s most peculiar songs is titled “Hello Seattle”. In this song, he sings in the form of a conceit about hospitals and his friend who was in the hospital at the time. Lyrics from the song include:
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