In Capital, the joyous musical duo from Melbourne, wear their influences on their sleeve. So much so, they’ve created a playlist of them.
We’ve been raving about In Capital for a hot minute now. Their fun-loving LP Fridays With Carol offered up 10, hook-fuelled, ’80s inspired grooves. But obviously, they didn’t come out of nowhere. For every killer track out there, there are hundreds of songs that have subconsciously (or consciously) inspired it.
In the case of Fridays With Carol, the duo was quick to identify their influences, in order to help their tracks flourish, and stick to the intended vibe. From Fleetwood Mac to The War On Drugs, it’s safe to say In Capital have taste. In the duo’s words, here are the 10 guide tracks that helped birth their stunning LP.
Track 1 – A Walk on the West Side
A synth-pop bob laden with 80s drum machines, keyboards, and a healthy dose of strut.
Song Reference: Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants to Rule the World
Everybody Wants to Rule the Word is a straight banger, the swing on the drums, big ’80s vocal sound, iconic synth line and sweet, sweet lead guitar. We just kept checking in on those drums, comparing them to our own; they were a real measuring stick for us and are super important – the drive and backbone of both tracks.
Track 2 – Alone
Melancholic, bittersweet, Alone is an introspective synth-pop ballad to wrap yourself up in like a soft, warm blanket.
Song Reference: The Human League – Human
Human has a similar momentum as Alone and was an excellent reference -check four our use of hooks, and how many. We were very conscious of letting our song, Alone, inhale and exhale without strangling it. Human doesn’t have many elements to it either, so it became a key reference for us.
Track 3 – Dr Mann’s Disco Plan
Silky strings, sexy sax and a whole lot of funky sass to brighten your day and get your ass moving!
Song Reference: Boney M – Daddy Cool
We needed a track that had some swagger and sass, and our go-to was Soul/Disco Classics and in particular, Boney M! Daddy Cool has a lot of similar elements to Dr. Mann’s Disco Plan that we were able to reference against – strings, sax, kooky vocals, female backing vox, disco drum beat.
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Track 4 – Brightly
A short, sharp jab of shoegaze, shimmer-pop with more cheese than your summer picnic platter, (and proud of it!)
Song Reference: The Cure – Just Like Heaven
Pure shoegaze pop with a straight, driving beat, a few cheesy keys and guitar runs that aren’t quite solos, but aren’t quite… not? Haha, you know what we mean! Just Like Heaven was a great reference, even down to song length. There are even a few vocal moments that feel familiar between the two tracks, but that was purely subconscious, as we only started referencing this track towards the later stages of mixing!
Track 5 – Everything I Need
A pop-road-trip number that tips its hat to The War on Drugs and Fleetwood Mac (but probably doesn’t sound too much like either!)
Song Reference: Fleetwood Mac – Say You Love Me
Fleetwood Mac’s equation for a bopping pop song is solid as a rock – 4/4 drum beat, bopping bass, honky-tonk piano, jangly guitars and sweet harmonies. It’s a recipe for a steering-wheel-tapping road trip anthem — we’ve done many a drive with Fleetwood Mac up loud, singing as loud as we can. And look, like we said, there’s not a huge similarity between the two tracks, but we certainly checked in on the vibe many, many times!
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Track 6: You
A synth-pop/electronic catharsis to hold your hand, carry you through and then thump you until it’s OK to exhale.
Song References: – The Cars – Drive + Foals – Sunday
We have to cheat a little on this one, as You has a front half and a back half that sound very different, so we needed a reference for each. Drive was an early influence and reference for the first half of our track – it’s a great example of how to leave space, sonically. And then the ‘drop’ or kick in, or whatever you want to call it, the back half of Foals, Sunday is done with aplomb, and quickly became a touchstone You, and its pounding push to the finish line.
Track 7: Through the Night
A bittersweet song, sad yet euphoric. One of our favourites on the album.
Song References: The War on Drugs – The Haunting Idle + Burning
Again, this track is really two songs in one, so it was difficult to find tunes that went the distance when it came to referencing. In the end, we used two songs off Adam Granduciel’s breakthrough masterpiece, Lost in the Dream – The Haunting Idle + Burning. For Nick, this was his album of 2014.
Track 8: Roland Garros
Shake up that margarita, make it real zesty, and add a little extra salt to the rim. You’re going to need it to wash down this naughty little number. Is it Prince, is it ’90s pop? Who cares, let’s dance!
Song Reference: Talking Heads – Burning Down the House
The genius of Talking Heads sinks in when you realise how much of their music you’ve grown up listening to. Their music is a vibe – pop this banger on at a house party, stand back and marvel at the magic you’ve created as the dance floor gets loose. We referenced this track a fair bit, particularly for its high levels of quirk.
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Track 9: Studio Blues
A little bit of dance, a little bit soul, and a whole lot of fun for us to write and record!
Song Reference: Sly & The Family Stone – Everyday People
A gentle rolling ear-worm needed a reference with big notes and several moving parts working in unison. This along with Marvin Gaye was a go-to, simple key progression, hooky vocals and bongos! All-together, it’s a masterpiece of soul and was super helpful to lean into when mixing Studio Blues.
Track 10: Bell Jar
Bell Jar is the album’s closer, and collectively one of our favourites. It’s such a pleasure to create music without a ceiling; tender, heart-wrenching strings into a pounding drumbeat, huge guitars and a big-time reverb/vocal sound. We threw everything at this track, and we’re both extremely proud of it.
Song Reference: INXS – Never Tear Us Apart
As intimidating as this track was initially, once we wrangled it into submission, we needed a reference with a big-time vocal sound filled with emotion. What could be more so than the late Michael Hutchence? We spent a good amount of time perfecting the build in this track, and just like the rest of the album, referencing was key.
Listen to the Fridays With Carol below, and their references playlist here.