What happens when former
jingle writers turn their attention to pop music?
April 29, 2013
“Mostly, we are going
to try and stay sane,” says Capital Cities front man, Sebu Simonian.
“This is our first tour, so a lot of discipline is required. Hopefully
we don’t get into trouble.” A good goal for a band that
in just four months managed to release a highly revered EP, record a
full album and plan a forty-something stop, nationwide tour. “It’s
going to be a whirlwind.” They'll stop in New Orleans Tuesday
night at the House of Blues' Parish.
Pop songs shouldn’t come as a surprise for these ex-jingle writers.
After meeting on Craigslist, front men Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian
launched a business creating commercial music. That experience greatly
facilitated the creation of mainstream dance hits. “Our history
in writing jingles gives us an edge in the production of a song,"
he says. "I think we have a better idea of what people want to
hear and we aren’t afraid to change the aesthetic.” The
group has been compared to new wave dance rock bands Passion Pit and
MGMT, but its twist has been to keep the lyrics simple, repeat them
regularly, and focus on themes of positivity and visceral joy.
The group’s international hit and first recorded track, “Safe
and Sound,” anchors Capital Cities' upcoming album, In a Tidal
Wave of Mystery. In the song, Merchant and Simonian sing, “You
could be my luck. / Even if the sky is falling down / I know we’ll
make it safe and sound.” It's a conventional thought, but the
explosion of synth horns in the chorus followed by a grooving synth
melody is an irresistable call to the dance floor.