In Commercial Sounds, we take an unavoidable TV ad soundtracked by a song and tell you all about the artist behind the music. Have a commercial song you want to know more about? Ask us.
This commercial for the Jeep Renegade is everywhere. Being that advertising is anything but subtle nowadays, the song behind it sings of “Living like we’re renegades.” Because the car is a Renegade. Get it?
The song: “Renegades,” by X Ambassadors.
Where you can find it: Besides on your TV every 10 minutes, it’ll be on X Ambassadors’ upcoming debut album, VHS, out June 23. “Renegades” peaked at No. 69 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Where else have you heard X Ambassadors? They’ve been in a few video games, most notably Need for Speed. Their song “Jungle,” which reached No. 87 on the charts, has also appeared in The Blacklist and in trailers for Horrible Bosses 2, Orange Is the New Black and Pitch Perfect 2.
The band also appeared on Eminem’s “Wicked Ways,” from The Marshall Mathers LP2.
What do they sound like? “Renegades” is a pretty representative template for what X Ambassadors do. They specialize in that new breed of alternative rock that takes blue-collar guitar stomp and adds electronic and industrial flourishes, a la Awolnation and Imagine Dragons. (Coincidentally, it was Imagine Dragons who heard them on a local radio station and begged Interscope to sign them; the two have since toured together.) Imagine if Mumford & Sons plugged their guitars in (okay, they just did that), and then got really into fun., Bastille and Foster the People.
They’re hardly unique — you could hear “Renegades” and think a million different bands wrote it, and you wouldn’t be outrageous to think that — but they’re catchy as all hell. Knowing how to write an instantly comfortable hit is a skill, too.
What else can I hear? Before VHS comes out, you can listen to their two EPs, Love Songs Drug Songs and The Reason.