In a Tidal Wave of Mystery (Deluxe Edition)
Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian first worked together as jingle composers before they formed the Los Angeles–based duo Capital Cities in 2010. That early work in crafting instantly memorable tunes pays dividends on the pair's debut album, In a Tidal Wave of Mystery. It's filled with catchy tunes, clever '80s-influenced synth-pop arrangements, and smart turns of phrase. The joyous first single, "Safe and Sound," leads off the album, followed by equally infectious indie-dance gems like "Patience Gets Us Nowhere Fast" and "I Sold My Bed, but Not My Stereo." The centerpiece track, "Farrah Fawcett Hair," is a glorious bit of mock-anthemic dance rock with cameos from André Benjamin and—improbably but wonderfully—NPR announcer Frank Tavares, whose deadpan listing of life's little pleasures lifts the song up to a whole new level of joyous absurdity.