When Owl City’s “Fireflies” climbed the charts last fall, many people had the same reaction: Holy crap, this sounds exactly like the Postal Service! (For those of you who didn’t have that reaction, the Postal Service were a collaboration between Death Cab for Cutie front man Ben Gibbard and producer Jimmy Tamborello.) Adam Young, the 23-year-old behind Owl City, has mostly shrugged off the veiled plagiarism allegations. He told EW in October that he’s only listened to “a little bit” of Postal Service and has “become more of a fan having started Owl City, actually.” But are the similarities really a coincidence? With Owl City launching a new tour tonight in Idaho, Vulture dug a bit deeper, discovering previously unreported parallels between the two men and their bands.
Both are white.
Both are male.
Both have three syllables in their names.
Both have band names with tangential relation to message delivery systems, real or fictional.
Both have albums with two-word titles (PS’s Give Up, OC’s Ocean Eyes).
Both hail from states west of Wisconsin (Gibbard’s from Washington; Young’s from Minnesota).
Both have songs with the word “in” in the title (PS’s “Sleeping In,” OC’s “Cave In”).
Both feature still-life imagery on their album covers (see here and here).
Both are recipients of notable cover versions (PS: Ben Folds, Iron and Wine, Confide; OC: Nick Jonas).
Both have albums with ten or more songs (Give Up: ten songs; Ocean Eyes: twelve songs).
Both are fans of Death Cab for Cutie (Young: “I’m … a Death Cab fan“; Gibbard: presumed).
Both have recorded albums in unconventional manners (Gibbard and Tamborello collaborated on Give Up songs by sending them back and forth through the post office; Young recorded Ocean Eyes in his parents’ basement).
Both have recorded songs that are partially about looking at things from high up (PS’s “Such Great Heights”; OC’s “Hot Air Balloon”).
Both have close associations with beloved pop-culture figures (PS: Zooey Deschanel; OC: Shaq).
What’d we miss?