Looking out a Brooklyn cafe window and watching the morning traffic, indie-pop band founder Dayglow frontman Sloan Struble was taking a day off. Just the night before, he had played to a full house at the Mercury Lounge on the Lower East Side, the latest stop on his fall tour.
The Texan singer, songwriter and producer is blowing up online, and his song “Can I Call You Tonight?” has gained nearly 19 million streams on Spotify alone. The song comes off of his debut album “Fuzzybrain,” released the day before he began his first year of college at the University of Texas at Austin.
“I was really wanting my life to change,” Struble said. “It’s really about change and dealing with change. It was really prominently on my mind, so naturally, I wrote songs about it.”
Struble grew up in a musical household — both of his parents are singers. He quit taking guitar lessons as a kid after realizing he didn’t like his guitar teacher, but making music became a prominent part of his life after his cousin introduced him to GarageBand.
“From that moment, I got obsessed with the whole art of making music,” Struble said. “It felt like sound legos. I taught myself because I didn’t know anyone who wanted to make music.”
As he got better at producing, the singer went through phases of focus on different genres. He flirted with EDM and even experimented with a singer-songwriter style before settling on the decision to create an indie-pop band. Dayglow in its current state draws inspiration from the upbeat, groovy style of other artists such as the Doobie Brothers and Michael McDonald, but Struble hinted at another shift to come.
“The stuff I’m working on right now is quite different than ‘Fuzzybrain,’” he said. “It’s very ‘80s or ‘90s piano ballad pop.”
When it comes to writing, Struble said he doesn’t follow a process. Since he writes and produces each song himself, the song depends on the mood he enters the studio with.
“I start out with a sound, then going from there and producing the song instrumentally, then I do lyrics,” Struble said. “Sometimes it’s the complete opposite. I try not to have one way of doing things.”
During this process, he said he strongly considers the feelings his songs might evoke in the listener.
“I’m a big fan of escapism in music and feeling like it’s from another world,” he said. “I want it to feel personal and organic.”
That cognizance of his audience extends to Struble’s live performances. He says he wants people to have fun and make friends at his shows. He uses upbeat songs to loosen up the crowd and get them dancing; during his song “Dear Friend,” he asks that everyone introduce themselves to someone in the crowd that they don’t know.
“I think such a common beginning of friendship is music interest, so shows are the prime place to make friends,” he said. “We’re like, ‘You go make friends, we’ll just play for a second.’”
Struble said he values optimism and wants to showcase that in his music. He said he finds that a lot of current artists make music from a pessimistic perspective, but he refuses to go down that route.
“I want my music to serve as really wholesome fun,” Struble said. “I want to be optimistic but also admired for what I’m making and working hard for.”
Dayglow’s next single, “Listerine,” the last post-release addition to the “Fuzzybrain” album, was released on Nov. 14. As they finish up the U.S. leg of their headlining tour and prepare to head off to the U.K. in December, the band has a lot planned for the future.
“It’s exciting finally getting Dayglow out into the real world,” Struble said. “I’ve felt like it’s all been on the internet, but now we’re existing in both worlds.”
Email Claire Jones at [email protected]