Thursday 6 June 2013

Capital Cities - In A Tidal Wave Of Mystery

What will the album of the summer be?  As we finally hit June, it’s the question on every music lover’s lips.  ‘In A Tidal Wave Of Mystery’, the debut LP from Capital Cities, is a strong contender, because nothing says summer more than ecstatically happy light hearted fun.  And trumpets.  Lots of trumpets.

The LA pop duo’s style is exemplified by Farrah Fawcett Hair at the centre of the album.  Vibrant and schizophrenic, the track follows some crazy twists and turns as a spoken monologue lists everything that’s good about the world.  What other song jumps from sampling Miles Davis to a guest appearance from Andre 3000?  It’s the very definition of feelgood and, as the chorus claims, it really is “good shit, baby”.

As a whole, the album is positively overflowing with fizzing pop hooks, funky guitar grooves and frothy fun.  It comes as no surprise that the duo honed their craft as jingle writers, allowing them to experiment with a variety of genres and develop their skills as composers of melody.  This training in commercial music lends itself to mainstream pop, with the album amongst the catchiest and most upbeat records of the year so far.

In a recent interview with Billboard, the duo said of writing Farrah Fawcett Hair, we went into it with absolutely no rules”.  This certainly rings true of the album as a whole.  It’s a collision of genres, instrumentation, samples and beats wrapped up in a quirky, unpredictable pop package – from the jubilant opening (and lead single) Safe and Sound, to the buoyant Kangaroo Court, the cartoonish vocal sample on Origami, and the sitar solo on Tell Me How To Live.  Every song is an unexpected delight, bursting into your ears in a tidal wave of neon sunshine.

Most of all, ‘In A Tidal Wave Of Mystery’ is an incredibly inventive album that sees the duo having fun with music.  And isn’t that what pop’s all about?  This is a tightly produced, playful and utterly joyous album, and it’s WONDERFUL.


Gizzle’s Choice:
* Kangaroo Court
* Farrah Fawcett Hair
* Origami

Listen: ‘In A Tidal Wave Of Mystery’ was released on 4th June in the US.