Review: Capital Cities – In a Tidal Wave of Mystery (2013)
by Ryan G on Jun 4, 2013 • 12:08 am

By Ryan Getz

The duo that is Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian have been making waves for about a year now, and if this reviewer is correct their major label debut In a Tidal Wave of Mystery ought to be THE soundtrack of clubs and summer festival season, 2013 edition. With the massive success of “Safe and Sound,” I waited semi-anxiously for this album. Why semi-nervously? Because often when bands release a dance tune with a repetitive and simple hook that becomes their only hit. Now, don’t get me wrong – “Safe and Sound” would be one heckuva candidate for a one hit wonder – but it simply wouldn’t be right. In a Tidal Wave of Mystery is that good and more.

Capital Cities’ sound is a tad difficult to pigeonhole, but alt-dance is a pretty good term to use. The duo have found their niche, and apply their formula liberally to every song on the record. Well, except for maybe the one song that is a tad more mellow (“Lazy Lies”). But, the synths and the horns are applied in heavy doses all over the place. Some songs could even be considered neo-disco (a term I just made up – perhaps neo-funk would be better?). “Kangaroo Court” could fit a playlist along “Kung Fu Fighting” and “Get Down Tonight” I think.