Band of the Week: Capital Cities

The electro-pop duo Capital Cities doesn't have a grand origin story.

They met via Craigslist. After teaming up to make background music on commercials for companies such as Honda and Home Depot, they decided to start a band, which they named by making up random phrases on Gmail.

Their music also is far from grandiose, but that's the point.

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"We're just trying to have fun with our production and try to write different songs," says Ryan Merchant, one half of the Los Angeles-based team. "We kind of just go with the flow and whatever comes out of us that we like we put it on the album."

The other half is Sebu Simonian, and together they share songwriting and production duties, often going note by note through a track.

"It's the two of us trying to reach a consensus on every different line," Merchant says.

What they come up with is a mix of influences, with a healthy serving of funk and sprinklings of jazz and hip-hop influences. Overall, its unmistakably fun.

Their debut album, "A Tidal Wave of Mystery," was officially released earlier this month, and their first single, "Safe And Sound," has been working its way up the Billboard charts recently, the start of something they hope is big, but not bombastic.

"I think our goal is just to write music we think is really good," Merchant says.

Learn more and hear their music:

See them live: Capital Cities will perform live at The Social in Revel along with a full band 8:30 p.m. Friday, June 21. The show is free, but passes can be reserved through Ticketmaster by going to

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