They say that mimicry is the greatest form of flattery, but Beach House might not agree.
Fresh from releasing their latest album, Bloom (it’s a corker), the Baltimore duo have now been liberally ‘referenced’ in a new televised advert for the Volkswagen Polo. The ad, which has been screening in Great Britain, is soundtracked by a tune that sounds suspiciously similar to the dream pop pair’s ‘Take Care’ from their 2010 LP, Teen Dream.
The Beach House sound-alike is used to score an emotive narrative about a father ‘taking care’ of his daughter before buying her a Polo in her teen years… as you do.
Diffuser reported that the song used in the ad is entitled “Whispers and Stories” from a “team” called Sniffy Dog, who are not a band but “a company that designs music specifically for commercials, TV and movie projects.”
Beach House, who take a rather rudimentary approach to their social media, saw fit to take to Facebook to respond to the plagiarism claims in a statement that essentially says ‘we know we were ripped off.’ In the status they report how “the ad agency actively tried to license “Take Care” from us for weeks, to which we politely declined.”
They continue to actually defend the famous German manufacturers that tried to license their song to sell their cars. In the same post they say instead that “people’s comments/anger should not be directed towards… 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.”
The musical parallels between the Sniffy Dog track and Beach House’s original are difficult to ignore. Aside from some obvious differences in tempo and pit, Sniffy Dog’s ‘version’ features the same arpeggiated riffs, similarly hazy keys and an equally androgynous female vocal crooning “I’ll watch over you,” that replaces the original refrain of “I’ll take care of you.”
The rip off is just the latest that has been discovered over the last 12 months, thanks to fans around the world and the magic of the internet.
John Butler Trio were furious after a yoghurt company ripped them off for an advert aired during the Superbowl, and The Grates labelled Weet Bix ‘jerks’ for re-recording their single without permission.
Local Canberra band Tonk also discovered earlier this year that popular US sitcom How I Met Your Mother had used one of their songs not once, but twice without permission, and a hefty pay day shortly followed.
But despite the risk involved in ripping an artist off, especially when they’ve already turned you down, you have to give props to how effectively the ‘team’ were able to replicate Beach House’s unique dream pop sound.
You can compare and contrast for yourselves below: