In a Tidal Wave of Mystery

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In a Tidal Wave of Mystery
Studio album by Capital Cities
Released June 4, 2013
Recorded 2011–13
Genre Indie pop, synthpop, indietronica
Length 43:45
Label Lazy Hooks, Capitol
Producer Ryan Merchant, Sebu Simonian
Capital Cities chronology
Capital Cities
(2011)
In a Tidal Wave of Mystery
(2013)
Singles from In a Tidal Wave of Mystery
  1. "Safe and Sound"
    Released: January 6, 2011 (2011-01-06)
  2. "Kangaroo Court"
    Released: June 7, 2013 (2013-06-07)
  3. "I Sold My Bed, But Not My Stereo"
    Released: November 11, 2013 (2013-11-11)
  4. "One Minute More"
    Released: March 25, 2014 (2014-03-25)

In a Tidal Wave of Mystery is the debut studio album of American indie pop duo Capital Cities, released on June 4, 2013, under Capitol Records.

Background and production[edit]

Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian worked as jingle writers for various companies before meeting on Craiglist and deciding to form Capital Cities.[1] The pair then wrote "Safe and Sound" and began working on their debut album; the title In a Tidal Wave of Mystery originates from a lyric in the third verse of "Safe and Sound". Merchant and Simonian wrote, composed, produced and mixed the entirety of the album, with the exception of "Lazy Lies", produced by Simon Mills.[2] Outkast member André 3000, vocalist Shemika Secrest and NPR's Frank Tavares are featured on the song "Farrah Fawcett Hair", while vocalist Seseh is featured on "Chasing You".[2]

Release[edit]

The album's cover artwork was designed by Brazilian artist João Lauro Fonte.[3] In a Tidal Wave of Mystery was released on June 4, 2013 by Capitol Records and was the first Capitol Records album to be distributed by Universal Music Group, following the break-up of Capitol's previous distributor EMI. It debuted at number 66 on the United States Billboard 200 albums chart.[4]

Singles[edit]

The album's lead single "Safe and Sound" was released digitally on January 6, 2011.[5] Capitol Records serviced the single to United States modern rock radio over a year later on November 27, 2012,[6] and it topped the Billboard Alternative Songs chart.[7] It subsequently became the duo's breakout hit, peaking at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and reaching the top ten of numerous mainstream charts internationally.[8]

"Kangaroo Court" was issued as the second single on June 7, 2013[9] and impacted US modern rock radio on August 6, 2013.[10] "I Sold My Bed, But Not My Stereo" was released digitally in select territories on November 11, 2013 as the third overall single from the album.[11] "One Minute More", originally released as a stand-alone single on April 14, 2011,[12] was later included on the deluxe edition of In a Tidal Wave of Mystery and re-released as the album's fourth single on March 25, 2014.[13]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[14]
Gigwise 7/10 stars[15]
People 3/4 stars[16]

Matt Collar of AllMusic wrote a positive review of In a Tidal Wave of Mystery, describing it as an "infectious mix of synth-heavy dance pop" and drawing comparisons to American rock group MGMT and Italian musician Giorgio Moroder.[14] Chloe Ravat of Gigwise wrote that Merchant and Simonian's "[jingle-writing] skills have been successfully transferred to their debut LP", opining that "[they] are damn sure on how to write a good electro pop song."[15] Ravat, however, felt that its tracks, while good, did not contain "enough individuality in them to distinguish one from the others or stop each blurring into the next", ultimately describing the album as a whole as "good background listening for a lazy summer's day spent on a picnic blanket, [but] a little too late in the year."[15] Chuck Arnold of People wrote: "With its buoyant synth-pop sheen, 'Safe and Sound,' the hit single that opens this disc, is bound to be one of the songs of summer. And this new duo keep the hooks coming on tracks like 'I Sold My Bed but Not My Stereo.'"[16]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and produced by Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian, except where noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
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" (featuring André 3000) Simonian, Merchant, André Benjamin   3:50
7. "Chartreuse"       3:39
8. "Origami"       3:45
9. "Lazy Lies"     Simon Mills 2:57
10. "Tell Me How to Live"       3:24
11. "Chasing You" (featuring Soseh)     3:50
12. "Love Away"       3:43
Total length:
43:45

Personnel[edit]

Credits for In a Tidal Wave of Mystery adapted from album liner notes.[2]

Capital Cities
Additional personnel

Charts[edit]

Chart (2013) Peak
position
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[17] 53
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[18] 151
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[19] 156
French Albums (SNEP)[20] 163
German Albums (Official Top 100)[21] 75
UK Albums (Official Charts Company)[22] 187
US Billboard 200[4] 66
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[23] 15
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[24] 23

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Mexico (AMPROFON)[25] Gold 30,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thomas, Fred. "Capital Cities – Biography". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c In a Tidal Wave of Mystery (liner notes). Capital Cities. Capitol Records. 2013. 60253 73703 4 4. 
  3. ^ "Capital Cities investe em 'Safe and Sound' e lança terceiro videoclipe do single". TecoApple (in Portuguese). MTV Brasil. Viacom Media Networks. April 25, 2013. Retrieved June 8, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Capital Cities Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for Capital Cities. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  5. ^ "Safe and Sound – Single by Capital Cities". iTunes Store (US). Apple. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved July 2, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Modern Rock – Airplay Archive". FMQB. Retrieved July 2, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Capital Cities – Chart history: Alternative Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Capital Cities – Chart history: The Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 4, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Kangaroo Court – Capital Cities (Digital Download – EMI #)". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 2, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Alternative > Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on July 30, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  11. ^ "I Sold My Bed, But Not My Stereo – Single by Capital Cities". iTunes Store. Apple. Retrieved March 18, 2014. 
  12. ^ "One Minute More – Single by Capital Cities". iTunes Store (US). Apple. Archived from the original on August 20, 2011. Retrieved July 2, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Alternative > Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on March 18, 2014. Retrieved July 2, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b Collar, Matt. "In a Tidal Wave of Mystery – Capital Cities". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 18, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c Ravat, Chloe (September 27, 2013). "Capital Cities – A Tidal Wave Of Mystery (Capitol)". Gigwise. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b Arnold, Chuck (July 15, 2013). "Picks and Pans: Music". People. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Capital Cities - In a Tidal Wave of Mystery" (in German). Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  18. ^ "Capital Cities – In a Tidal Wave of Mystery" (in Dutch). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  19. ^ "Capital Cities – In a Tidal Wave of Mystery" (in French). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  20. ^ "Capital Cities – In a Tidal Wave of Mystery". Lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  21. ^ "Capital Cities – In a Tidal Wave of Mystery". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  22. ^ Zywietz, Tobias. "Chart: CLUK Update 12.10.2013 (wk40)". Zobbel.de. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Capital Cities Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Top Alternative Albums for Capital Cities. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  24. ^ "Capital Cities Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Top Rock Albums for Capital Cities. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  25. ^ "Certificaciones –" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas.