I was led down a series of staircases, through desks and workplaces, past employees in blue T-shirts and tables of catered lunches. Suddenly, I found myself poolside, and a minute later, Dayglow emerged through a set of double glass doors, dressed in a green crewneck sweatshirt and light tan slacks.
Dayglow is many things: a band, an individual, an idea and an artist. Dayglow is the brainchild of Sloan Struble, a blonde-haired, soft-spoken musician from Aledo, Texas. Over his three albums, Struble has evaded definition, pivoting from synonymous viral hits to personal pop anthems with ease.
We caught up before his Saturday set at Merriweather Post Pavilion’s All Things Go music festival. Sitting away from the frenzy of producers, artists and staff that milled about Soho House’s pool and lounge, Struble propped a foot up on his seat and leaned on his knee with a casual nonchalance, and our conversation began.
Struble was 19 when his debut album “Fuzzybrain” was released. In the five years since, the album’s second single, “Can I Call You Tonight?,” has amassed over half a billion streams on Spotify, a success Struble admitted he hadn’t seen coming.
“I’d be lying if I was like, ‘Oh, I think this song could be a viral song,’” Struble said. “Who gets a song to still be popular four years later? I don’t know, that’s so rare in and of itself.”
The five years after “Fuzzybrain” saw the release of two more albums: 2021’s “Harmony House” and 2022’s “People in Motion.” The latter was inspired by changes within Struble’s life, notably marriage and moving, according to the album’s announcement on Instagram. Struble said that these changes naturally influenced his music.
“I’m an artist, and the way I express myself is through my art. It sounds pretentious, but that’s something I’ve learned over time,” Struble said. “From 24 now through 19, so much naturally happens, whether you’re working at Whole Foods or you’re a musician.”
Part of that evolution has been the development of Dayglow’s signature visual pallet: a bombastic, colorful, retro-styled throwback that seems to channel Struble’s inner Elton John. Struble uses his passion for video elements to express his musical identity, which is unique in the multimedia format, he said.
Struble’s recent experimentation has expanded beyond music visualization. In a partnership with wellness technology company Endel, Struble’s music was reshaped by artificial intelligence to create meditative soundscapes — a new way to experience Dayglow’s work. Despite the collaboration, Struble said he doesn’t plan on making the technology a staple in his music going forward.
In the middle of our interview, four shaggy-haired men wandered over to Struble to say hello. They were the members of Peach Pit, the indie pop band playing before Dayglow on Merriweather’s Chrysalis Stage. Experiences like that, Struble explained, are part of the reason why music festivals are special experiences for musicians.
To be a small piece of a big festival not only serves as an ego check, Struble said, but also a way to present himself to a new audience. That new audience will have something to look forward to, as Struble divulged details about his upcoming fourth album: a stripped-back, guitar-based album eyeing a 2024 release.
“This year has been a good time for me to sit and reflect, figure out what I’m doing at all and like why this matters,” Struble said. “This next record I’m working on is really fun.”
Struble, who had taken off his crew neck to reveal a performance-ready white T-shirt, laughed when I pressed him for any more details.
“We’ll check back next year,” Struble said.