Written by Susie Salva
Capitol Cities debut release, “In a Tidal Wave of Mystery,” on Capitol Records is produced by founders and frontmen Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian. These two Los Angeles-based jingle writers who met on Craigslist, molded their strengths into electronic-infused pop rock and have taken the world by storm with the multi-format radio smash, “Safe and Sound,” which is Number 1 at the Modern Rock Format, Top 20 at Triple A and within Top 40 radio.
The duo are very inventive merging auto-tone, hip hop and EDM with a thrilling result. This album comes to a crescendo riding on a tidal wave rooted in mystery offering amazing results by this dynamic duo.
“Safe and Sound,” the first single off this debut album, is uplifting, sincere, catchy and like all of their songs, full of heart. The duo sings in unison, “You could be my luck…even if the sky is falling down…I know that we’ll be safe and sound,” offering up an inviting message of hope. In some way the song is an antidote to the human tendency to think it apocalyptic terms and not really look at the logic of the world around us. Things are getting better and there’s a lot to be positive about,” says the duo. Trumpets sound off proving they are safe and sound as electro beats ring out.
“Patience Gets Us Nowhere Fast,” is a sing song upbeat synth pop groove advising all to be patience and aspire to want it all. The electro-pop “Kangaroo Court,” is infectious track wanting to dance these days away and rock out!Shut up sit up its a Kangaroo Court. Again calling in the forefront the use of a nasty trumpet.
“I Sold My Bed Not My Stereo,” contests that music is more important than a place to rest your head. The song verges on sounding a little like Daft Punk which is no comparison to sneeze at.
“Center Stage,” is a funky/synth jaunt exposing a positive outlook on daily life and breaking it down with a slapping bass and sonic booms. Very catchy chorus and bumping sounds and the feel of Kool and the Gang blasting out loudly through out the bridge.
“Farrah Fawcett Hair” featuring Andre 3000 uses all of ‘70s and 80’s icons incorporates auto-tone, a sexy sax with narrative by National Public Radio and other conversations over the top using EDM and a choir with a sultry solo.
“Chartreuse,” uses the ever present trumpet sounds over a song that sounds like Wang Chung of the ‘80s…cover me in cover me out shines through. “Origami,” another Daft Punk styling explaining his stealing of her precious jewels and stones singing “Origami,” during the bridge where you can hear what sounds like chipmunks in the background once again utilizing the sexy trumpet their go to fabric of sound.
“Lazy Lies,” not the most outstanding song on the disc. It’s a bit slower and tries to sound like the Beatles with harmonies and bell tones exposing the possibility of change.
“Chasing You,” has by far the most ‘80s oriented sounds with the help of Soseh features the conundrum of wanting someone and feeling scared as hell when that wanting becomes a possibility. “Love Away” has an optimistic view of love to do it just everyday the synth plays out like a video game. ”
Finally, this duo plays tribute to Sinead O’Connor by covering her massive hit, “Nothing Compares 2 U,” performing it flawlessly while interjecting their Capitol Cities unique vibe.
Capitol Cities bandmates Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian capture a moment in time by utilizing electro-synth beats, sexy trumpets that are distinctly their own and kick off your socks dance-ability. This young duo have their sights set high and deliver a solid set of music incomparable with what else is going on in this space. There really is no mystery at all with this group just a solid wall of sound with some upbeat dance tracks that mount them firmly in the scene of things.