Do Owl City Sound Too Much Like The Postal Service? Do We Care If They Do?

When you type "Owl City Sound Like Postal Service" into that magic little Google contraption you get 280,000 results. Now, I'm sure some are about owls. Some are about cities. And I bet a bunch are about the mail.

But even if you siphon off some of the results, this is clearly a hot-button issue. I, personally can't believe that 60 Minutes hasn't jumped on this already, but we'll take it on here at BW.

Owl City is, more or less, Minnesotan musician Adam Young; he tours with a more fleshed-out band, but he does all the heavy lifting in the studio. They are incredibly popular. Their jam, "Fireflies" is a top 10 hit. It also sounds A LOT like Ben Gibbard (main man of Death Cab For Cutie) and Jimmy Tamborello's electronic-pop duo The Postal Service.


So, the question is this: does that matter? I don't personally think so. While I never encourage full-on biting of another artist's style, one would have to point at the Postal-Service-shaped void left in our pop landscape right now. The Postal Service haven't delivered (hawhaw) anything 2003's Give Up. Now, I'm not a math major, but that feels a lot like six years to me.

So if Postal Service aren't really a going concern, and Owl City make a very pleasant version of Postal-Servicey pop, should we not enjoy it for what it is?

I mean, if your mailman stopped coming for six years, and then a new dude showed up and was equally reliable and nice, would you not take his mail because he's not the same dude? Of course not! So why should it be that much different when it comes to pop?

Marinate on it and feel free to agree or disagree in the comments. And if you need a Cliff's Notes version of the two bands, watch Owl City's "Fireflies" and The Postal Service's "Such Great Heights" below.