Adam Young says he's "halfway done" with the next Owl City album, and he's hatching plans for at least one eyebrow-raising collaboration.
"One of my dreams has been to get Taylor Swift to do a song," Young, who remixed John Mayer's "Half of My Heart" (featuring Swift) tells Billboard.com. "I have kind of a cool idea for this sort of hybrid, countryish direction for a new song that would be perfect for her. We're hoping for the best. I can't even imagine how busy she is, so if it happens, it's cool. Fingers crossed."
Young -- who recently had to cancel some of his Maroon 5 opening dates due to a kidney stone -- says that he's corresponded via e-mail with Swift "a few times. She says she's a fan, and vice versa, for sure, so hopefully there'll be collaborating." Young adds that he'd also like to work with Dashboard Confessional's Chris Carrabba, who's "a pal. It would be fun to get his voice on there."
As for what the follow-up to 2009's platinum "Ocean Eyes" will sound like, Young predicts "more variety across the board -- maybe a song with a ton of electric guitar, maybe one that's really kind of trancey or European trance-influenced, maybe a super urban, hip-hop kind of [song], just taking what the last record did but maybe enhance that."
Young is once again doing "everything aside from the mastering" by himself, so he doesn't want to set a timetable for recording or the next album's release. "It's kind of a long process," he explains. "Whenever I'm home and off the road, that's my main focus. I was in the studio in June and July, and then we're out here on the road 'til September. Then I'm heading back [in the studio] for a couple months in the fall."
Young says he's also keenly aware of the expectations that will undoubtedly greet his "Ocean Eyes" followup. "There's the whole sophomore slump thing," he acknowledges, "and everybody's going to say, 'Can he do it again? Was 'Fireflies' just a flash in the pan?' I'm pretty optimistic...and, honestly, if this is it, I'm absolutely grateful. I was working for Coca-Cola in a warehouse before any of this started, so I'm definitely grateful to be creating rather than hauling around pallets of soda."
Owl City finishes its run with Maroon 5 on Aug. 15 and then starts a three and a half week stint with Mayer on Aug. 18, followed by headline dates in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the U.K. and Europe during November and December. Meanwhile, Young has also been extending his creative reach with "An Airplane Carried Me to Bed," an album he crafted in 2007 under the moniker Sky Sailing, prior to Owl City taking off. It's a more earthy and organic approach, and Young says he feels it co-exists comfortably alongside "Ocean Eyes."
"I have always wanted to experiment in almost every genre out there instead of trying to cram it all into one thing," explains Young, who's also planning a project with Relient K's Matt Thiessen called "Goodbye Dubai." I was always interested in...having these different kind of avenues to sort of filter and direct the different flows of creativity. So I'm excited to have [Owl City and Sky Sailing] represent me in two similar, but slightly different ways."