Capital Cities: In a Tidal Wave of Mystery Album Review
Laura Mooney, Arts Editor
Imagine a sound that is upbeat, unexpected, exciting, and yet soothing all at once. A soundtrack to put a true pep in your step, and wake you up from your post- summer hangover for those ungodly early morning classes.
Capital Cities’ debut album, In a Tidal Wave of Mystery, combines heavy synth and electronica with the instruments and sounds one typically expects to hear from the purest of indie bands. Comprised of members Ryan Merchant, Sebu Simonian, Manny Quintero, Spencer Ludwig, Nick Merwin, and Channing Holmes, this Los Angeles based indie-electro band creates a familiar and yet strangely hard to describe new sound that comes across as a genre all its own. From the first burst of trumpets intermingling with a synthesizer in the opening track, “Safe and Sound,” to the eerie choir-esque vocals heard ever so subtly in the background in “I Sold My Bed, But Not My Stereo,” the band lets the listener know what they stand for, and that they are not following the typical rules when it comes to electronica. The songs weave tales of the struggles that come with true, passionate love and what to do when that love is lost, while still hammering out encouraging notes about branching out in life, going a little wild, and being who you are, as shown through the delightfully contagious song of “Kangaroo Court.” One look at the album’s cover may provide even more insight to the quirky inner workings of the boys at Capital Cities. Elaborately decorated with tigers in space helmets, winged blue whales, and elephants with boom boxes all floating around in space, one gets the impression that although the band may be writing songs about love and being oneself, they are doing so with a grain of salt and a cheeky sense of humor. So if you do decide to indulge in this unique band, a word of caution: leave plenty of room around you when listening to it in public, because you may break out into a spontaneous dance.