Friday, November 22, 2013

Capital Cities @ Myth Maplewood, MN 11/21/13 / In a Tidal Wave of Mystery (2013)

I meant to, and should share what I tried to post on Facebook earlier today about this band.

I probably saw one of if not the most jaw-dropping, yet still unknown band to me, last night in electronic/trumpet infused LA ensemble Capital Cities who played at Myth somewhat out-staging I'd say Fitz & The Tantrums . I was so impressed, I purchased Capital Cities debut record "In a Tidal Wave of Mystery" on cd (for myself) and on vinyl for my gf . 

In looking at some of their background online, I was pleasantly surprised to learn Sebu Simonian is 1 of the main contributors. Sebu, I know from his being a member of the great mid-2000's melodic pop/rock group Aviatic, who I haven't really thought about in many years. But given he was with Aviatic, I'm not so surprised to see him in another highly talented and engaging band.

Fans of Chromeo namely, would probably enjoy them. They even did a very cool synthy version of the Bee Gees "Staying Alive" and then going into an outro of all people, Weezer? "If You Want to Destroy My Sweater" LOL. It was hilarious. 

They really did blow me and my girlfriend away. Even if I found they kind of came across as partially like a Chromeo with a New Orleans-jazz flare with the trumpet. I can't help of even think a bit about Mutemath and namely some of the jazzy stuff with the trumpet on their 2nd LP Armistice (namely the remixed/extended jazzy version).

But when it came down to it, they had great energy, played to the crowd well, the visuals with sunglasses and lights. I even grew to enjoy some of the pre-recorded/tracked synthesizer rhythms.

So, I have now listened to their debut LP In a Tidal Wave of Mystery once, and it's pretty good. The songs vary enough to have me wanting to go back to them. The smooth and moody nature still works. Maybe not quite as well on an energy level, but at least from a songwriting level.

Tracks like "Farrah Fawcett Hair," "Love Away," "I Sold My Bed, But Not My Stereo," "Chatreuse," and "Kangaroo Court" stand out all in different ways. From samples, to pop culture references, to dance-able sections. This record features a lot of different elements to enjoy.Even the opening track "Safe and Sound" I'll admit to liking, even if it sounds somewhat mall-pop like, with it being mostly synth and gang-vocal centric.

I would say this band is almost like 1-part Chomeo, 1-part Daft Punk, 1-part Mutemath, 1-part Apes and Androids, 1-part Fitz and the Tantrums, 1-part Mayer Hawthorne even, and a bunch of parts which they kind of have of their own. I suppose that is 1 reason why I am intrigued not only enjoying this album more, but where they may go next sound-wise. I mean if you cover the Bee Gees and Weezer within the same cover/synthy interpretation, that does show you bring in a lot of different influences.

I must say, their trumpet player, Spencer Ludwig stood out a ton at the show. He was very charismatic. His parts do shine a lot on here, but he's maybe not included on as much of this record as I'd prefer. But perhaps he may be more so in what they do next.

But for now, these guys are another new band that I'm really enjoying, both this album and of course seeing live. I only would wonder if/when they come back, will they have the big visual setup, and sound dynamics, depending on the venue. I.e. if they played at the Triple Rock or Entry, it may not be quite as *big* sounding/seeming as it was at Myth last night. Oddly, 1 of the best shows I've seen there, especially not being a huge fan of that place.

1. Safe and Sound  3:13
2. Patience Gets Us Nowhere Fast 3:08
3. Kangaroo Court  3:43
4. I Sold My Bed, But Not My Stereo 3:55
5. Center Stage  4:02
6. Farrah Fawcett Hair (feat. André 3000)3:50
7. Chartreuse   3:39
8. Origami 3:45
9. Lazy Lies 2:57
10. Tell Me How to Live 3:24
11. Chasing You" (feat. Soseh) 3:50
12. Love Away 3:43