Reviews

On Harmony House, Dayglow Effortlessly Steals The Show

Envision the scene: Sloan Struble, aka Dayglow, greets you from the porch of his house with arms open wide. He’s dressed to the nine in his best suit, but it’s hard not to notice his bare feet on the wooden planks. A glimpse at Struble demonstrates just how comfortable and excited he is to welcome you into this world he has created. The introductory theme begins playing softly and now he’s ready to knock your socks off.

This is the beginning of his 80s-inspired sitcom. So, come on in; kick back, relax, and enjoy the show.

Sloan Struble’s affinity for music flowered at a young age. He took to GarageBand at the age of 10, where he taught himself how to play a slew of instruments including guitar, bass, drums and keyboard. Additionally, he taught himself how to mix and produce music. Now he prepares to release his second full-length project Harmony House under Very Nice Records eleven years later.

Prior to adorning the alias Dayglow, Struble released a twenty-five minute album as KINDRED. This album, titled KINDRED,  was initially released on Soundcloud in October of 2016. He then released three additional singles before retiring the pseudonym in 2017. To one’s dismay, these tracks are not currently available on mainline streaming services, such as Spotify. However, you can click here to listen to Struble’s first act.

As the KINDRED era came to a close, Dayglow was born. After a densely populated and fervent release schedule in 2018, Struble established himself with the commercially successful “Can I Call You Tonight?” Shortly thereafter, he released his first album fuzzybrain, which only further propelled him into the spotlight. Now, he returns with his most masterful production to date.

The energy that exudes from Harmony House is blistering, infectious, and positively electric. Struble’s sophomore project might as well be spellcraft; it will grip your attention from start to finish and have you bobbing your head in sheer bliss the whole way through. This mesmerizing project demonstrates the young artist’s acumen for music, and, dare I say, mastery all the same.

Fans of Dayglow have likely heard “Close to You,” as this track dropped during the second week of 2021. Acting as the first teaser toward Harmony House, this track welcomes listeners into the mind of a young admirer. This admirer sees their crush at a party and quickly envisions a perfect conversation. Enveloped in a daydream, the admirer snaps back to reality, dismayed to see the person they were watching make for the door. 

While the premise of the song may sound dreary and misguided, the instrumentation prevents you from feeling sorry for this young admirer. Struble reminds us that although we may feel that we’ve missed an opportunity, being true to ourselves is the key to success. Positivity and self-reassurance will allow us to eventually muster the courage necessary to confidently march toward that lucky individual that we have our eye on. 

This track possesses all of the makings of a summertime classic: catchy instrumentation, clever lyricism, and relatable content. As our world begins to reopen and stabilize, plenty of people are going to need some vocal motivation to boost their confidence. Expect to hear this masterpiece all summer long.

“Close to You” is followed by “Crying on the Dancefloor,” which continues the narrative from the previous track. This song has an overwhelming nostalgia factor that will send anyone back to an ‘80s school dance. The track begins with a thought provoking line: “It’s not easy to be someone you never dreamed to be.” This line suggests that changes happen and we must be willing to accept said changes. Again, Struble drops some positive wisdom that will resonate with many fans. As the track advances, the vocals fade out and are substituted by a mindful instrumentation that bears semblance to some of Kevin Parker’s work on The Slow Rush.

“December” is a slower paced song with more drops of wisdom. Inspired by a poem that his grandmother loved, this track acts as a gift from Struble to the audience. Again, the focus is overcoming tough moments and dancing toward a brighter future: “That’s what seasons do / they change.” 

Struble notes that “December” is his favorite track on the entire project.

The album concludes with, “Like Ivy,” as Struble becomes self-aware. He lofts about living in a strange simulation, likely harkening back to the 80s sitcom theme that prevails throughout the record. Acoustic guitars accompany awakened lyricism, as Struble breezes: “Is it real? / Feels like a dream.” The show is reaching its conclusion.

This final track shares instrumental similarities with the first track “Something,” almost encouraging you to loop the album, which likely would have happened regardless, but it’s a nice touch nonetheless.

Other notable tracks include the dreamy “Into Blue” that almost sounds like a calculated lullaby, and “Moving Out” that focuses on capitalizing on your dreams and escaping your comfort zone: “It can be so hard to leave / when you have your feet on the ground… / go see what your dreams are all about.”

Needless to say, Harmony House is an absolute pleasure. The one-man-prodigy and master of the operation Struble left his heart on the line, and the result is absolutely breathtaking. 

Harmony House is out tomorrow. 

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