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Dayglow

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Dayglow's Latest Effort is Dreamy and Down-to-Earth

 Not since 2018’s Pray for the Wicked by Panic! At The Disco has there been an entire popular album that dares to tackle the topic of what it’s really like to be an older teen or a twenty-something - until Dayglow’s Harmony House.


 The “roaring 20s” summer that was ruined last year by the COVID pandemic meant that more dreams, more adventures and more social possibilities were put on hold until recently, thus providing a particularly fertile ground for the frustration and the desiarate longings common to this life phase.


Twenty-one-year-old Dayglow (real name Sloan Struble) is, for better or for worse, more Cory from Boy Meets World —- upbeat and lacking in an ounce of cynicism, despite some sensitive traumas and feelings —- than he is Panic’s Brendon Urie or a young, sarcastic Beck. (He does look a lot like MellowGold-era Beck as well as resembling 1970’s teen heartthrob Vincent Van Patten which certainly does not hurt him with a young female audience!)  Dayglow’s upbeat personality shouldn’t be surprising given Dayglow’s now well-known love of situation comedies from past eras.


An important question is whether his fans will embrace an entire album of situation comedy joy throughout the growing pains with lessons learned from a supposedly simpler time period, whether they will relate to a whole album of the sweet old-school romance of his 2019-2020 fan favorite single Can I Call You Tonight (Notice that the title says nothing about texting).


The answer is resoundingly a yes. Dayglow has found a way to give advice that could ordinarily sound very annoying to young people if it came from the authority figures in their lives. He makes as many embarrassing confessions as does Brandon Urie (for example in

Crying on the Dancefloor, “Medicine” which has a strong subtext of loneliness and social media). The bonding effect of his honesty is very important to understanding his appeal.


Equally important to how Dayglow can be so appealing and genuine in 2021 with his 1970’s- 1990’s nostalgia and lack of darkness for darkness’s sake is that he wraps it up

In the rambunctious fun of 1980’s to

1985 MTV pop singles. 


Anyone in 2021 of any age who faithfully goes to dance and socialize to the tune of their favorite eighties covers band can tell you that this music took chances in order to create a fun escape from work and classes. The rhythm and tune of Dayglow’s Balcony sounds like My Sharona’s desperate pseudo-confident yearnings (think that damn beat) and Dancing On The Ceiling’s giddy synthesizers. . 


A song from the late 1970’s (along with the early 1980’s, it is the musical era Dayglow professes a love for in interviews) that definitely comes to mind on Dayglow’s tune Whoa Man is REO Speedwagon’s ballad Blazing Your Own Trail Again. It’s a post-breakup song of encouragement that was important to young people in 1979 just as “ Whoa Man” will likely be today. 


His video clips for Harmony House show an strong literacy in eighties MTV. With more bright pinks and teals and striking outfits than a Cars video and more societal observations than a Dire Straits clip, Dayglow is set to encourage his peers while entertaining them as well. There’s some parallel here between these musical acts of the eighties that hit stardom through

MTV and Dayglow’s hitting stardom through Tik Tok and the viral hit Can I Call

You Tonight.


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