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Music / Capital Cities

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Sebu Simonian (left) and Ryan Merchant (right)

"We make thoughtful electro/pop music that you should listen to!"
From their official Twitter

Capital Cities is an American Indie Pop duo from Los Angeles consisting of Ryan Merchant (vocals, keyboard, guitar) and Sebu Simonian (vocals, keyboard).

The two met on Craigslist and spent three years composing music for commercials and advertisement campaigns.

Their self-titled debut EP (featuring their Signature Song "Safe and Sound") was released in 2011 via their label, Lazy Hooks. Their second single "Kangaroo Court" was released 2012. Their debut album "In a Tidal Wave of Mystery" was released in 2013 after signing a deal with Capitol Records. Their sophomore album "Solarize" was released in 2018.



  • Album Title Drop: "Safe and Sound" has the lyric "In a Tidal Wave of Mystery, You'll still be standing next to me."
  • Alliterative Name: Their band name, also member Sebu Simonian.
  • Alternate Music Video: "Safe and Sound" has the original version where it shows clips of wars and people dancing in progression from World War I to the 2000s, and the official version where an empty theater is brought to life with the duo and other dancers coming out of their posters doing a dance-off.
  • Broken Record: "Kangaroo Court"
  • Downer Ending: At the end of "Kangaroo Court", the zebra is sentenced to death and cut up into steaks.
  • Fight Fur Your Right to Party: The setting for "Kangaroo Court"
  • Kangaroo Court: The titular song, whose part of its lyrics and video tell about a sham trial associated with the trope.
    So I tried to save face then I rest my case
    The judge pulls me aside says c'est la vie
    Let your darker side come out to feed

    Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!
    Sit up! Sit up! Sit up!
    It's a kangaroo court, a kangaroo court.
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  • Lightning Can Do Anything: "Safe and Sound" features an old abandoned theater coming alive with dancers across the 20th century after lightning strikes the building.
  • List Song: "Farrah Fawcett Hair"
  • Progressive Era Montage: The original video for "Safe and Sound" features various clips of dances and wars from the past century in chronological order to show the interplay of human nature.
  • World of Funny Animals: Again, the "Kangaroo Court" music video.