It is not easy in 2014 for an up-and-coming artist to hibernate for a year and make a project. There is so much pressure to constantly create an influx of new music to keep fans and powerful people interested. Dylan Owen has not released a new song since last summer, which translates to a zillion blog years. But with every gap between songs, Dylan is living and writing and working and perfecting his craft. He is experiencing life and writing about it in hopes that people relate to his thoughts. I respect Dylan for two main reasons: he makes incredible music and is willing to wait for a perfected product. This is an artist you follow for life–not just a temporary blog fling.
Driving down the interstate, it’s 2 AM, I’m infinite…
“Everything Gets Old” is the first single from Dylan Owen’s new project There’s More To Life.
If we’re being honest, two weeks ago I wasn’t a fan of Dylan Owen. I know plenty of people that enjoy his music, I’ve seen his name around everywhere, but I never really stopped to give it the time of day. But after going to a live show of his recently, that’s all decisively different.
Today, Dylan dropped the video for his track “Ghosts” from his Keep Your Friends Close EP, which made some waves back when it dropped. But for the video, Dylan decided to add the beautiful vocals of Kiah Victoria, and for me that’s what made the track. Kiah’s voice complements Dylan’s catchy hook extremely well, and it’s a joy to watch.
Fun Fact of the Day: Kiah also appeared in Jay Z’s “Picasso Baby” video. Do with that what you will.
This summer was a miracle. I started off with almost no plans and ended up going to London with my dad, spending the Fourth of July at the beach with my best friends, and interning with my aunt in Washington (D.C.). I think the biggest lesson I learned from these travels is that it is not about where you go, it is about who you’re with. “Beach Is Better” is not saying that weekend at the beach with my friends was my best trip. It is saying that you can make a “beach” wherever you go. And that’s always better.
- How Sad – Indian Summer
- Run the Jewels – Sea Legs
- Netherfriends – Uptown Boys
- Step Rockets – Kisser
- Jay Z – Beach Is Better
- Astronomyy – Things I’d Do for U
- Left Boy – Laying in the Snow
- Dewy Sinatra – I Need Love
- PARTYNEXTDOOR – Right Now
- Boy/friend – SOTL
- Shadow Shadow – Riviera
- Tor Miller – Headlights
- Sam Smith – Safe with Me
- Austin Paul – V V
- Dylan Owen – The Window Seat
- Noah Slee – Can’t Stop
- Bartoven – Domestics
- KYLE – Sex & Super Smash Bros
- denitia and sene. – stupid world.
Damn, I think this shit’s gonna hit the fan.
The “Best of Series” is a playlist generated every month providing you with quality, sounding music across all genres that were released during that month. Whether you’re too busy to visit daily, or just need some music, this is our way of helping you stay current.
July came and went, while music entered our computers to stay. Here’s the best songs from the month of July. Download link, my top 5, and track list all below!
Jordan’s Top 5:
He’s going to blow up. He will be a name that everybody knows. Sam Smith is setting himself up nicely to be a recognized singer in this industry.
A last minute addition to Best of July because it deserves it. This is the first new sound we’ve heard from Dylan Owen in a long time, and damn, it’s great to hear him again. #pause
This is just music done right. Andy Bull gives us one of the catchiest hooks this month, and will keep you singing along. Be on the lookout for this being in Best of 2013 because I have a good feeling it’ll be there.
The things I would do for an as†ronomyy EP, or LP right now. I’m thirsty for it as he’s 2/2 with only two songs making “Best of” top 5, not once, not twice, not three times, four, five, six, or seven. Okay, it’s actually twice, but I suspect that he’ll be here at least another five times.
Hit the jump for the track list Continue reading “Best of July 2013” »
It’s been a minute since we last heard from Goshen’s favorite son. After releasing the incredible Keep Your Friends Close EP more than a year and a half ago, Dylan Owen took a break from music. I can only imagine how taxing creating such personal music can be. Most likely the break became longer than anticipated, but I am so happy to announce it was worth the wait. “The Window Seat” picks up where Keep Your Friends Close left off. It is clear that the hiatus helped put things in perspective for Dylan as he tackles broad topics like love and depression and narrows them into his “view from the window seat.” Because that is what artists do–discuss specific emotions from their point-of-view. Great artists like Dylan, however, make their specific discussion candid enough to be massively relatable.
But I woke up forgetting what it means to live and looking back saw a list of all the reasons that I did
2012 has been a good year for music. I know I found some songs and albums that will be with me for years. More importantly, however, I discovered some young artists whose careers I will follow. A lot of these EPs and mixtapes are debuts for artists. These are, perhaps, the first glances at the future of music. Check it out.
Hit continue reading to see the lists and hear a sample from each EP and mixtape.
“Dear present time, this is it…” is how Keep Your Friends Close begins. What follows is the story of Dylan Owen. More broadly, it’s the story of young adult life: college, girls, and of course, friends. Throughout this EP (which is practically an album as Dylan himself will admit), the young rapper documents his memories, past and present, and discusses them candidly for all to hear. He doesn’t sugarcoat his life; instead, he lays it out quite clearly. He has ghosts. There’s blood on his tracks, too. And while the listener is relating to what he’s spitting, Dylan is relentless. “You gotta keep your friends close” is repeated throughout the EP. The message is clear.
As you listen to the songs below, waiting for the .zip file to download, please to God text or call a friend, and tell them that you appreciate them. Sometimes we get stuck in the tedium of life and need to break out of it. Friends and family are all we have. We need to appreciate them, whichever way we do.
Click the picture below (courtesy of Dylan’s website) to download the project in its entirety.
Samples are cool when they’re done right. They can range from a producer’s discovery from the unknown basement of Motown history or a refreshing take on a Top 40 song. Recently, producers have looked to speeding up and then increasing the pitch of the chorus of the most popular indie song of the moment. It was cool when RJF did it (and whoever produced this one). But now, it’s gotten annoying, which makes “Burn This Whole Place Down” refreshing. It features a John Mayer sample that you will immediately recognize from those summer roadtrips during your (weirdly) extremely faithful “Mayer phase.” The singer’s voice is actually deepened and maybe even slowed for this track as Dylan drops some honest bars, explaining how he’s dealt with the trials and tribulations of this past year by using music as an emotional outlet.
I know this life can put a Slug in you like Atmosphere.
Keep Your Friends Close will be available for free this Sunday, January 22nd. It will also be available on iTunes if you want to give Dylan your cash money.
Last night, Reef of Fortune Family and Dylan Owen released a video for their newest collaboration, entitled “Dreams.” With video production by the notorious Jon Kilmer and audio production by the relatively unknown, albeit really skilled, August Coupe, this is one of Fortune Family’s best releases to date, and Dylan Owen has gained a new level of respect in my mind as well. The track centers around insecurities and issues found in relationships, with both rappers speaking very honestly and openly about their experiences and feelings–something I unfortunately am seeing less and less with up and coming rappers. Grace Kelly, the singer on the hook, also provides an amazing hook, supplementing the sound of the rappers with her honeydipped vocal chords.
The video is also particularly impressive. While most rap videos these days center around landscape shots simply for the sake of being visually appealing, this video centers around a more conceptual theme, as is evident by watching it.
Perhaps I’m biased, but I think this track really cements both Reef and Dylan Owen as some of the most promising up and comers in the blogosphere.
Sound off in the comments if you agree/disagree.
I’ll never let her go, and she’ll never be forsaken/ If the dreams don’t pan out, fuck it I still tried/ Me and hip hop, forever you and I
Dylan Owen has been taking names on the streets of New York since middle school. After releasing his first album Senioritis last year, he aims to take 2011 by storm with his Keep Your Friends Close EP. I had the pleasure of being able to interview him a few weeks ago.
Arjun: When did you decide you wanted to be a rapper?
Dylan: I honestly didn’t know that I wanted to do this for a living until probably my junior year of high school, even though I had been writing and performing for a while at that point. I always had a mix of dreams and goals which incorporated writing — but that wasn’t fully materialize until, I suppose, one day, it hit me.
Arjun: The way I see it, you could have taken your rap anywhere. What made you choose to make your lyrics more personal and introspective? Who can you list as your inspirations?
Dylan: This was really the only route that interested me (and still is). I don’t see the point in making music that’s not genuine or inspired; that shit would be no fun at all. Inspirations, definitely Sage, Eyedea, Witness, guys like that who opened my eyes to rhyming about real things. And Uncle Kracker.
Arjun: Glad Uncle Kracker made the list. Which artists are you listening to right now?
Dylan: Let me check my recently added to iTunes… I’ve got Kin Ship (very talented local band from Ithaca NY whose drummer is a dope hip-hop producer named Kid Vision), Solo’s new mixtape Dear Future (met him at a recent Gramercy Theater show, gotta support), and some Willie Nelson. I’m eclectic. I’ll bump The Wonder Years one day and Jenny Lewis the next. And I love the new J. Cole, especially the second half of the album.
Arjun: Definitely agree about the second half of Cole World. Do have any big collaborations on the horizon?
Dylan: Well, my boy Kinetics is going to be featured on Keep Your Friends Close. Y’all ready for this? I may possibly have tracks in the works with Reef of Fortune Family, PJ Simas, Ashworth, Chance Fisher, Skizzy Mars…some peeps.
Arjun: Damn. All of those artists are awesome. You recently tweeted that you made a beat. I’m really curious to hear it. Want to give Sunset readers a sample of your production skills?
Dylan: I would be so down, but the shit’s straight up whack. People read my twitter? Do not follow @DylanOwenMusic.
Arjun: Where do you record your tracks? Also, where do you find time to record tracks around your busy (college) schedule?
Dylan: Funny question, because I don’t really have a definite answer at the moment. Back in Goshen, I record at my producer Nico Marchese’s in-house studio. Sometimes, I record with my own equipment. Sometimes, I go to DJ Mikey Good’s apartment near the West Village. We make time!
Arjun: I’m just starting the application process. Should I apply to Cornell?
Arjun: Tracklist? Release date? Tour? Want to drop a single right here?
There are 9 tracks on the upcoming free EP. I also think I’m going to put a few of the songs on iTunes in advance so people can grab copies if they’d like to check it out before the drop. As for shows, I just got done with a whole string of ‘em, played in NH, CT, and Washington, D.C. for the first time and got to share some stages with Yelawolf, Logic, Skizzy Mars, and tons of other awesome talent. So keep your friends close and check http://dylanowenmusic.com/ for updates. Let’s just say I’ll be hitting you with a Christmas present this year. Peace, Sunset!
WAIT! Before you go, check out the promo video for Keep Your Friends Close and try not to be hyped about the project. The video offers a glimpse into Dylan’s life in New York City and features a snippet of a song called “Bookmarks” from the EP. Swag on swag on swag.
Ever since releasing his debut album Senioritis, Dylan Owen has been one of my favorite rappers. “Why?” you ask. Simply put, Dylan raps about real life. Every verse he writes is straight talk, and highly relatable, which is a refreshing change from the “luxury rap” that’s featured heavily on my iPod rotation. Needless to say, any new material from the young rapper is gladly accepted on my iTunes (Apple is now sponsoring me).
Flash forward to right now. We have our first look at Dylan’s highly anticipated Keep Your Friends Close EP, which in his own words features his ”most honest, most sincere and most heartfelt songs to date.” Listen to the title track from the EP below, and hear the Cornell sophomore stay true to his word.
Final word: This song sounds sort of like a sequel to last year’s “I’m Still Spinning.” Swag swag.
Arjun || Twitter