You know how music from indie bands is used in adds all the time. Colbert, from the Colbert Report, while debating which of The Black Keys or Vampire Weekend was more a sell-out, once said: ‘The only way to tell which band has more edgy, non-commercial appeal is to see which band got their songs in more commercials’.
Very funny, and very true, except that some bands don’t want to be in commercials. Baltimore indie duo Beach House is one of these bands, and nevertheless, you could swear you hear a Beach House song in the new British ad for Volkswagen’s polo, it's the same bright circular organ, same haunting voice, same soothing-type melody,.. except it is not Beach House!
So what is the story? Well the band posted the following on their facebook on Friday:
‘Hate to have to address this VW ad story during our release week, but an important part of information wasn't included in the news story. The ad agency actively tried to license "take care" from us for weeks, to which we politely declined. People's comments/ anger should not be directed towards VW or us. It was the ad agency that made these moves. I hope this also clarifies to fans and non- fans just how "take care" and the vw ad song are related. We will release a proper statement weeks from now when we don't have more interesting things to do/ talk about.’
Several papers and blogs had noticed the closeness between the two songs, and even the idea behind the commercial, showing a father always there for his daughter seemed a perfect match with the idea of ‘Take Care’, off Beach House’s 2010 ‘Teen Dream’ album.
So Beach House said no to the agency, which hired a band (named Sniffy Dog, according to the AV Club) specialized in making sound-alike songs for ads…. Is that even allowed? Why powerful corporations always get away with murder like this?
I visited Sniffy Dog's website, and this is what they included in their description: ‘Whatever your project, we will always deliver a creative and original soundtrack' … Yeah, right, original!
The problem is that a lot of people will associate VW with Beach House’s music now, despite the fact that the band didn’t want to sell their song to the agency. In fact they have been robbed twice.