On October 7th, Dayglow released its 3rd studio album, People in Motion. It is an album to get up and dance to.
Dayglow is the indie pop project founded by Christian Struble. He started his career with a home-recorded and self-released album, Fuzzybrain, in September of 2018. Struble’s music shifted from the mellow indie guitar-based soft pop sound of Fuzzybrain to the more upbeat, 80s-inspired indie pop music in Harmony House, released in January of 2021. Struble maintains and develops this new direction throughout People in Motion. His newest album is another solid and increasingly experimental and artistic addition to Dayglow’s growing discography.
In a recent interview with Atwood Magazine, Dayglow describes his goal with People in Motion as “I was just going to make the most ‘Dayglow’ album that I can, whatever that means. If I do have a sound, I think this album represents that the best, kind of for the first time.” He discusses his creative process by explaining “I went into this record with no rules. The only rule was that I wanted this to feel really high energy, like it was made to be listened to live.” Dayglow also reiterates that “initially my DIY approach came out of necessity. I didn’t know any different. I had always assumed, ‘Oh, this lead singer of this band must have a say in how the drums are mixed’. I just viewed everything really holistically. And that helped me shape my sound and make a workflow that I really like. It ended up just being this really honest, transparent thing where my fans and people that listen to my music know exactly where something’s coming from. And I think people are starting to crave that across the board nowadays.” People In Motion has been a space for Struble to gain confidence in his music production and embrace his most authentic, artistic sound. As Struble puts it, “I just went for it.”
Struble additionally mentions that the inspiration for this album and his music overall comes from “loving 2010s indie music, like Two Door Cinema Club, Phoenix, MGMT, bands like that, where it was band music, like it’s rock music, and there’s tons of elements going on. There’s like, four or five hooks in a song and they’re all just layered. I was really drawn to that music because my brain just kind of works that way.” Many of the songs on People in Motion follow the multi-layered hook approach. “Second Nature” opens the album with a series of keyboard synthesizers, creating a vibrant, upbeat, electronica pop sound. The lyrics explain the power of love and dancing: “dancing/ feeling like myself again and now I’m dancing/ feeling so unstoppable.” The bridge artfully repeats a faded “second nature love” over layers of synthesizers. This produces a sound like that of a series of exploding stars, the musical equivalent of 80s arcade game visuals. The following track, “Radio,” one of my favorites on the album, starts off with a similar punchy techno rhythm, which also makes you want to get up and dance. “Radio” heavily draws on Dayglow’s aforementioned influence of 2010s indie music, specifically Phoenix’s “Lisztomania” from Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.
While the first half of the album really leans into the sounds of 80s upbeat arcade music, the songs slowly start to mellow out after “Someone Else” while still maintaining the artistically intricate hooks. My other favorite song, “Turn Around,” smoothly transitions from an acoustic guitar in the introduction, to an electric guitar during the bridge, and back to an acoustic guitar. Towards the end of “Turn Around,” the lyrics “turn around” fade out along with the acoustic guitar, creating a more soothing and peaceful ambiance. The album finishes with “Talking To Light,” a song completely dedicated to Struble’s wife, Reagan Gail Struble. The first and final lyrics both mention her: the opening line of the song being “Oh Reagan/ I feel it now,” and once the lyrics end, Struble beautifully and endearingly closes the album with an “I love you Reagan.”
Overall, Struble builds upon his previous two LPs to create the experimental electronica pop sound of People in Motion. The heartwarming lyrics and fun, upbeat, danceable rhythm are what make this Dayglow album stand out. Struble perfectly sums up People in Motion and its distinct sound by saying “I think the songs are really energetic, and they’re personal, but it’s like I’m telling the story of Dayglow rather than just myself.”
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