X Ambassadors Make Funky Debut With Help From Imagine Dragons

06/03/2013
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(Radio.com) If the X Ambassadors get really big, the band knows exactly who to thank: Dan Reynolds from Imagine Dragons. While in Virginia, Reynolds heard an acoustic version of one of the band's songs on the radio and immediately called his friend and producer, Alex da Kid. All Reynolds told him was he needed to sign X Ambassadors immediately, which Kid did. Their debut EP, Love Songs Drug Songs, is out now on Kid's Interscope imprint, KIDinaKORNER Records.

The Imagine Dragons singer has done a lot for the quartet, from getting them signed to taking them on tour to co-writing their song, "Stranger." That said, singer Sam Harris told Radio.com the absolute best thing he's done is help them finally figure out the instrumentation of their first single, "Unconsolable."

"Unconsolable" was something Harris and his bandmates guitarist Noah Feldshuh, drummer Adam Levin, and brother, Casey had been toying with for years.

It started with Sam and Feldshuh, who have been friends since they were just six years old, playing around with a Casio keyboard one night five or six years ago. They created a guitar loop that would later become the melody. Then Sam just started singing the song's opening line, "I hope we stay thick as thieves, butter and bread, pillars of colonial homes," before writing the rest of the song, which was about growing up in the college town of Ithaca, New York.

The band recorded the song three different times and added different layers over time, from a number of loops to a saxophone breakdown to a toy keyboard. But it was Reynolds who told them to strip it down.

The song is now more like that acoustic version Reynolds heard on the radio and revolves around one persistent drumbeat, which highlights Sam's gritty upper register. They did decide to keep the toy piano though and even made the instrument a staple in their live show. "We bought a sturdy, sturdy flight case for it for a bunch of money," Felshuh explained. "Worth ten times more than the actual piano," Casey joked. more on this story

Radio.com is an official news provider for antiMusic.com.
Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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