Beach House consider action over VW ‘sound alike’

July 2012

Music publishing, Advertising

Baltimore indie duo Beach House have described an official statement sent out by Volkswagon as a ‘ cop out’ after accusing the car manufacturer of plagiarism of the band’s 2010 single ‘Take Care’ when VW used a sound alike in used as the soundtrack of a recent car advert. To be clear –  the advert is not a copy of the song exactly – and it is not a copied sound recording – more of a ‘sound alike’ of the band’s ‘feel’.  VW denied any copying and maintained that the song in its ad was merely inspired by the duo’s ‘dream pop’ – with VW saying “We greatly respect the talent of Beach House and never set out to replicate a specific song of theirs or anyone else’s. Most important to us was to find a track which matched the narrative of the advert, and we believe we have achieved this in the final edits”. You can take a listen online (see the link below) and in this blogger’s opinion it’s fair to say that the feel of the advert’s sound track sounds rather like ‘Take Care’.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the band’s manager Jason Forster was contacted numerous times by the agency behind the ad, DDB, asking to use the duo’s track. A producer from the agency is also alleged to have told Forster that “I’d be happy to jump on a call, fly someone to the US, offer more money and listen to anything you have to say”. Meanwhile the studio which created the final song for the advert, Sniffy Dog, told the WSJ it couldn’t comment due to a confidentiality agreement. Beach House are said to be considering taking legal action.

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