Ever since releasing his hit album Fuzzybrain, Dayglow, otherwise known as Sloan Struble, has been feeding his fans effortlessly catchy songs such as “Can I Call You Tonight” and “Close to You.” Dayglow’s third studio album People in Motion was announced June 21, 2022, and subsequently released a few months later Oct. 7, 2022 — a prompt albeit rather hastily released record, diminishing the overall quality of the album.
As Struble explained on Twitter, the inspiration for People in Motion comes from the fast-paced nature of the world, and the phrase is also metonymous for the act of dancing. Just as his prior records are introspective and nostalgic, his third album also serves as a reflection on his journey getting married, moving and taking time off social media — significant changes in any one person’s life.
On this 10-track album, Struble starts off with a groovy, electric pop beat that entrances fans from the get-go. “Dancing … Feeling like myself and now I’m dancing,” Struble sings in his song “Second Nature,” a reference to the movement the album is named after. Out of the first four tracks (also the four most streamed songs of the album), three of these songs were released as singles. “Second Nature” serves as a captivating prelude to the album, but the chorus starts to dull out after its third or fourth repetition.
Another highlight of People in Motion is “Radio.” Its nostalgic ’80s guitar melody pays homage to Struble’s previous two albums, where his style was more aptly classified as bedroom pop. One of the most popular songs on the album, “Then it all Goes Away” examines loneliness, change, nostalgia, connection and growth — powerful themes the album collectively explores. Serving as the heart of the album, the track’s bouncy and airy guitar melody catapults fans into nostalgic joy.
People in Motion offers positive messages to Struble’s fans through bright instrumentals and sanguine lyrics. For example, the eighth track, “Like She Does,” highlights the significance of uplifting one another and being a light in someone’s life. However, the album misses the mark in its lack of soul and sentiment, something Struble previously curated in Fuzzybrain and Harmony House. Just as Struble croons “It started out great” in the album’s fifth track, “How Do You Know,” so do most of the songs on this album. During the record’s playthrough, the melodies Struble composes begin to feel repetitive and monotonous. Although People in Motion offers a catchy and vibrant tracklist, it falls short to its predecessors given its dull and lackluster nature.
The growth of an artist’s sound is not only a reflection of their musical evolution, but also of their personal growth. Dayglow’s previous albums focus on his college days, while People in Motion centers around his journey into adulthood and independence. Overall, the album produces a fresh, new sound which leans more toward synth-pop than Struble’s classic bedroom indie pop; yet, the message his songs provide become diluted as lyrics drag on longer than necessary. The final track of the album, “Talking to Light” further misses the mark and fails to provide something memorable and attention-grabbing as the record concludes.
Although his third studio album lacks the charisma and charm that Struble has demonstrated throughout his discography, People in Motion acts as a wonderful introduction for new listeners to ease their way into Dayglow’s artistry. Some tracks are clear hits, such as the three singles released to tease the album’s arrival, while other songs lack the quality seen in the aforementioned tracks. Nonetheless, Struble shows commendable growth as a singer, songwriter and producer with People in Motion; the upbeat tracklist will undoubtedly keep fans dancing all night long.