I can pretty much guarantee that you've heard at least a couple of Owl City's songs. "Fireflies" is the classic you couldn't escape in the glory days of early middle school, and then "Good Time" with Carly Rae Jepsen happened in high school. Owl City has a distinctive sound that is pretty easy to recognize, and although for some may be a bit of an acquired taste, makes some pretty good music.
However, that music is not what this article is about. Last year, Adam Young, aka Owl City, undertook a project of releasing one film score each month of 2016. Each month's album was a full album of solely instrumental music, which tells the specific story of whatever event he focused on in that month. Each month has a very individual flavour, unique to the story being told, and one that I think encapsulates the emotions behind the event very well. I'm sharing just a few of my particular favourites, from a couple of the albums but I highly encourage you to explore all of the albums and find the music that you enjoy the most.
(Here's the link to Apollo 11, the first album, from which you can find all of the rest.)
Launch- This track encapsulates the triumph and power behind doing something so daring and extreme as travelling into the depths of space.
First Step on the Surface- It's almost as if you can imagine yourself out in space through this music, the silence and beauty of seeing our planet from a distance. The track encapsulates serenity.
Re-Entry- The choral addition to this piece amps up the 'epicness' factor in my opinion. You simply feel like something incredible is being achieved through the music.
Honourable Mentions: CSM-LM Docking, Lunar Liftoff, Splashdown
Boarding- This is one of my all-time favourites. It captures the excitement and exhilaration of boarding on the Titanic, and yet manages to foreshadow the tragedy that awaits the passengers through modulating twists, all in 1 minute 57 seconds.
Maiden Voyage- I like to imagine this was the feeling on the Titanic before anything went wrong- full of power, uncertainty, and yet somehow simultaneously, confidence.
Sinking- I must admit that I rarely listen to the end of this score, simply because it really captures the emotions of the people that genuinely were sinking- but this track does it so well, that it deserves mention.
Honourable Mentions: Southampton, Silence
The Spirit of St. Louis:
Takeoff- Really good when in need of motivation to get started on the day, this track is full of drive and energy.
Wheels Down- In correlation again with the track title, this song is good for winding down at the end of a long day, when you just need to relax.
Honourable mentions: Stars Appear, Land Ahead
The Pilot- I love the laidback mood on this one, while still gradually building throughout the entire piece. This is good one to relax to as well.
Helium Balloon- Full of positivity, you can't help but smile once the full instrumentation enters in. The key change helps as well.
Honourable Mentions: Ground Crew, On the Ground
(This is probably one of my favourite scores overall.)
Country Hymn- Just listening to this track once completely relaxes me, especially when I'm over stressed. It really helps me just breathe and put things in perspective, and has a really calming effect.
Kennesaw Mountain- Another good one for relaxing before bed, full of peace and the quiet sound of rain fall. It's almost like you can imagine you are lying out under the stars.
How Sweet the Sound- built around the traditional hymn, this again is a track full of serenity and calmness.
Honourable Mentions: Atlanta, The Deep South, March to the Sea, Fall of the Confederancy
Construction- This song always motivates me to be productive and on-task, like I have a mission. It sounds cheesy, but can be really helpful when trying to work on homework.
Shrine of Democracy- For lack of a better word, this track is full of triumph. When you accomplish something big or simply need to feel good about working hard on something, this is a good one.
Honourable Mentions: Gutzon Borglum, Dynamite
These are just a few of my favourites, from only a selection of all of the albums available! Go check them out, and experience the stories behind each of the compositions Adam Young has put together.