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L.A.'s Capital Cities Are Big ... in Peru

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Wed, Jun 5, 2013 at 9:46 AM

click to enlarge ARMEN POGHOSYAN
  • Armen Poghosyan
In 2011, the Capital Cities' debut EP was released and got a ton of airplay ... in Peru. Catching wind of the band through the blogosphere, a station in Lima took notice of the band's upbeat, electro-pop single, "Safe and Sound," and immediately put it in heavy rotation. Shortly thereafter, Capital Cities had built such a strong cult following that they decided to make the trip to South America even though the most success they'd had in their home country was making music for television commercials.

The project started with Simonian producing two of Merchant's songs. Quickly, they developed great chemistry, and in 2008 formed Lazy Hooks, a production company that composed music for commercials, which was a byproduct of an internship Merchant completed while attending the Los Angeles School of Recording.

"Taking an internship at 27 was pretty humbling, but in hindsight, it was one of the best experiences I could have asked for," Merchant said. As more of their compositions were accepted as background music for ads, the company quickly became their full-time job. "We're stuck on these chairs all day long," Simonian said, pointing at the plush leather chairs in the control room.

Spending more time in the studio on a daily basis gave the duo an outlet to create their personal music, a brand of electro-pop. "We try to make our music accessible and something people can grab onto lyrically and melodically, but have something that's a bit different and unexpected," Merchant said.

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