Los Angeles indie electro unit Capital Cities got their start writing commercial jingles before shifting their bright and catchy songwriting talents into the world of pop. Synth-forward, horn-backed hits "Safe and Sound" and "Kangaroo Court" became viral favorites, landing their 2013 debut, In a Tidal Wave of Mystery, on the Billboard 200.
Founding composer/songwriters Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian first came together in 2011 via Craigslist, working as commercial jingle writers. Shortly after meeting, they released an EP online, which included the song "Safe and Sound," an upbeat mash of programming and melody that went viral and gained the act a lot of Internet exposure. Eventually, Merchant and Simonian were joined by bassist Manny Quintero, trumpeter Spencer Ludwig, guitarist Nick Merwin, and drummer Channing Holmes. The fully realized live version of Capital Cities played festivals internationally, opening shows for Jane's Addiction, Asher Roth, and many others. Their full-length debut, In a Tidal Wave of Mystery, arrived on Capitol in June 2013, followed later that year by the Kangaroo Court EP. The band's innovative video for "Kangaroo Court" earned them a Grammy nomination the following year. They further expanded their audience in 2014, hopping onto Katy Perry's Prism tour as show openers.