Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian met through a Craigslist ad, wrote catchy ad jingles together in 2008, and formed the indie electro unit Capital Cities in 2010.
In 2011, they independently released an EP that included the song "Safe and Sound." The upbeat and lively tune went viral, gave them a lot of internet exposure, and built a strong and loyal following for the band. Just last year, Capital Cities released their first album In a Tidal Wave of Mystery, which included their first song and 13 other feel-good and LSS-inducing tracks.
Aside from winning the MTV Video Music Awards for Best Visual Effects and gaining a nomination in the Grammy Awards for Best Music Video both for the music video of "Safe and Sound", here are three other reasons why you should listen to Capital Cities now:
1. They break rules when writing songs.
Exhibit A: Their song "Farrah Fawcett Hair." The song is all about the good stuff with a lot of reference to the '80s, the decade when writers Ryan and Sebu came of age. They wrote the song without following the "normal" song structure and just had fun!
"That song is about the things in life that are undeniably good," Sebu explains, "it was the most experimental song in the album. We just throw away any rules as far as pop songwriting is concerned."
Ryan adds, "It was one of those songs that we break all rules and just do whatever we want. Really fun."
Make sure you listen closely to catch the iconic voice of Frank Tavares of the National Public Radio and Andre 3000.
2. Their music videos are artworks in themselves.
Proven by the nominations they got, their music videos for "Safe and Sound" and their second song "Kangaroo Court" tell stories and speak truths.
"As far as music video is concerned, whenever we write songs and when we release songs, we like to create a little world in these songs—so that people will engage with the music in a more thrilled way," Ryan says, "So they are not just listening to music, but we're actually bringing these visual components [so they can] connect more in the music."
3. They can bust some serious moves.
Seeing Sebu and Ryan dance in the music video of "Safe and Sound" is priceless! We would definitely want to see more of that in the future. The two even underwent dance lessons under well-known choreographer Mandy Moore for the music video.
"The two of us were in the studio every day, for two weeks just learning these different styles," Ryan narrates of their experience, "Sebu hurt his leg during that process, but managed to take painkillers on the day of the shoot to get through it."
"All that dancing you see me doing is in an injured Achilles' heel," Sebu adds, "That's how good I am, you can't even tell!"
Capital Cities' debut album In a Tidal Wave of Mystery is now available in all major music stores.
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