In the summer of 2012, indie electro-pop duo Capital Cities released a catchy track called “Safe and Sound,” and subsequently saw the song hit #1 on the US Alternative Songs chart. Soon after, the duo signed to Capitol Records and put out their debut album In a Tidal Wave of Mystery. Now, nearly three years later, the eclectic pair comprised of Sebu Simonian and Ryan Merchant plan to offer fans a long-awaited follow-up EP titled Swimming Pool Summer.
“We were touring a lot. I had a couple of kids,” one-half of Capital Cities Sebu Simonian says of the lapse of time between releasing new music. “The muses seem to take their time in paying us a visit.” The EP is short and sweet at just four tracks, including the title track “Swimming Pool Summer” and “Girl Friday” featuring Rick Ross.
“It felt like a natural evolution from the first album,” vocalist Ryan Merchant explains. “This is a collection of songs that we feel good about.”
Despite their first album’s huge success, it doesn’t seem as though they’ve been phased by any sort of pressure to follow-up, as the two coolly sit in front of me ahead of their performance at Lollapalooza, . “Each of our songs has different intentions and messages,” Simonian tells me. “In most cases, we want listeners to hear something nice, a little ear candy. But we’re also proud of our lyrics, so we always hope people connect with those as well.”
And that point is pretty clear–that each and every word of the lyrics resonate with fans–when at this particular Capital Cities performance, it’s sometimes difficult to pick out the band’s actual vocals from the crowds’ enthusiastic (albeit, a little off-key) contribution.
Beyond the music though, the band has developed a creative knack when it comes to their visual effects and artistic direction. The cover artwork for In a Tidal Wave of Mystery was designed by Brazilian artist João Lauro Fonte and made such an impact on fans and the band alike, it was only right to return to João for this EP.
“Ryan and I brought our concept to João for the songs on Swimming Pool Summer and he was able to take it to the next level,” Simonian says. “As soon as we saw his work, we knew it had to be the cover of the EP.”
From the eye-catching cover artwork to the catchy, summer anthems, Swimming Pool Summer feels like exactly what listeners needed from Capital Cities to cap off this summer.
Stay tuned for music videos, shows and soon, a full-length album from Capital Cities.
Main image credit: Piper Ferguson