Move over, Hamilton and Show Boat! Dear Evan Hansen might be crossing over to the pop charts.
Owl City, the electro-pop alias of musician Adam Young, best known for the Platinum single (and nascent meme) “Fireflies,” has released a synthy version of the breakout song “Waving Through A Window” from the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, Dear Evan Hansen.
In the musical, Evan Hansen (Ben Platt, the millennial Mandy Patinkin) sings “Waving Through A Window” as an early act-one reflection on his footing as an outsider in society, both physically and in high school’s digital sphere (tap-tap-tapping on the glass is a meta lyric, friends).
In Owl City’s version, the song is notably lighter and more upbeat, but don’t mistake it for a lack of emotion. Young tweeted his thoughts about covering the song, which he says originated as a request from the creators of DEH and resulted in a “surreal” experience for the songwriter:
“When I was approached… the lyrics immediately resonated with me. It almost felt like it was written about my own life story. Having now had the opportunity to collaborate on my own version of the song, the experience has become even more surreal.
I’ve always been a bit of an outsider. For as long as I can remember, I’ve marched to the beat of my own drum. When I first discovered songwriting, it revealed to me who I was on the inside: a driven, innovative, expressive, passionate kid with an infinite imagination. But on the outside, I was a painfully shy, reticent, withdrawn introvert with low self-esteem and little self-respect. After ten years of creating music, I’ve since found my place in a world that offers me the chance to be anything I want, and I choose to simply be myself. I embrace being an outsider. I look at myself in the mirror and I feel nothing but confidence, optimism, assertiveness, and happiness. But it wasn’t always that way.
When I was first introduced to the character of Evan Hansen, I felt like I was watching myself in high school. I knew how it felt being on the outside looking in. I knew how it felt waving through the window, wondering if anyone was waving back at me. I had terrible social anxiety, I was painfully shy, I didn’t have many friends and I rarely spoke to my classmates. I viewed social interaction as a threat, not as an opportunity to share. So I withdrew from the world around me and poured myself into my music because it was the one thing that made me feel adequate. In the same way, Evan took to writing letters, I took to writing music in order to deal with the troubles of life.”