First-Time GRAMMY Nominees: Capital Cities

January 09, 2014 -- 4:57 pm

(The Recording Academy asked some of this year's first-time GRAMMY nominees to collect their thoughts and share what it feels like to be nominated for a GRAMMY.)

In early 2011 (yes, almost 3 years ago) we posted "Safe And Sound" online with no promotional backing and no real sense of where the song would take us. Over the next year and a half, it spread organically across the globe with the help of a little DIY video we made using stock footage of war and dancing over the past 100 years. The video progresses from the early 1900s to today, showing the simultaneous evolution of war and dancing and, more importantly, the triumph of the human spirit in the face of insane adversity.


That little video, which we love so much because of its message and how it reminds us of the humble beginnings of Capital Cities, was the inspiration for the video now nominated for a GRAMMY. When we got signed and the song started to take off at radio, everyone agreed that we needed a new video with us in it and higher production value. Thankfully, director Grady Hall came in with a brilliant treatment that riffed off of our initial video with the suggestion to integrate stock footage with new footage, and in the process create the ultimate "celebration of dance" music video.

The results were amazing, and here we are writing a blog entry to commemorate the recognition of the video as one of the best of the year as it approaches 60 million views on YouTube. It feels a long way from sitting at our friend's house in 2011 editing together low-quality stock footage as a relatively unknown band.

— Ryan Merchant

(Capital Cities — comprising composer/songwriters Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian — are nominated for Best Music Video for "Safe And Sound," along with director Grady Hall and producers Buddy Enright, Javier Jimenez and Danny Lockwood. The song is the lead track from their 2013 full-length debut album, In A Tidal Wave Of Mystery, which peaked at No. 15 on Billboard's Top Modern Rock/Alternative Albums.)