In a Tidal Wave of Mystery
Capital Cities’ duo Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian have been on the synth-pop music scene since 2009 releasing catchy, fun electronic singles (“Kangaroo Court,” “Safe and Sound”) that have nuzzled their way into a variety of dance mixes and indie-rock compilations. Their 2013 LP, In a Tidal Wave of Mystery, does not seek to revolutionize their already well established electronic groove, but undoubtedly improves upon it with the slick integration of acoustic percussion as well as glossy production sheen.
“I could show you what you want to see / And take you where you want to be,” Merchant and Simonian assure on the album’s opening track “Safe and Sound” which, although none different than their 2011 single release, appropriately sets the mood for the album to take you to an alternative musical dimension (the cover of the album itself is a seemingly random collection of animals floating in space). The cleverly catchy track “I Sold My Bed, But Not My Stereo” is a personal testament to Merchant and Simonian’s commitment to their musical craft, while naturally maintaining a lighthearted playfulness that carries throughout the album. This playfulness is epitomized on the track “Farrah Fawcett Hair,” featuring André 3000 and the voice of NPR’s Frank Tavares. “You know it when you see it / You know it when it’s there” Merchant and Simonian claim as they reference random things (Nutella, Back to the Future 2) that exude greatness, consequently relating them to Farrah Fawcett’s famous golden locks.
Capital Cities have crafted a unique synth-pop album that is sure to satisfy anyone looking for fun, groovy music. The album is pure entertainment and is sure to make even the most discerning listener crack a smile.
Roland’s Rating: 8/10
Key Tracks: “Farrah Fawcett Hair,” “Kangaroo Court”