Skip to main content

You know X Ambassadors, you just didn't know you knew them

You may not know the name X Ambassadors yet, but you probably know their music. The band and its song "Renegade" are featured in a commercial that you just can't escape for the Jeep Renegade. The Ithaca, NY group released its debut album this week, "VHS," and performs Wednesday at Wooly's.

"Six months ago our summer was completely open," drummer Adam Levin said during a phone interview. "We've gone through so many different versions of this album since we signed with Interscope two years ago. Many times we thought things were finished, then we would write another song and go in a new direction. It's exciting to finally have it done; we've been sitting on these songs for a long time and are ready to play them live."

If you haven't heard "Renegade" on TV, maybe you've caught "Jungle" being sung by Anna Kendrick and the Barden Bellas in "Pitch Perfect 2." X Ambassadors were also at Bonaroo last month. Basically, they've having a good summer.

It's the kind of rise that lends itself to the description "overnight success," though X Ambassadors have been together for five years and brothers Sam and Casey Harris and friend Noah Feldshuh have known each other since kindergarten and have made music together in different incarnations since childhood. Levin is "the new guy," hanging out with the others since meeting them in college in 2006.

Levin feels like X Ambassadors have been working for this for a long time, but that it also feels very sudden.

"It's always hard to keep perspective when you'd doing it every day," Levin said. "It feels really great to finally be getting to the next level, but it also feels like it's happened so quickly."

And that "Renegade" commercial? If you have a DVR, you might skip past it with other commercials, but Levin said the members of X Ambassador are still savoring every time they catch it.

"We're never at home with the DVR, so when we see it we are watching," Levin said. "The funny thing is, when we're looking for it we never see it. We get calls from family and friends all the time about how often they're seeing it, but I think I've seen it less than 10 times. We've been on the road so we're not watching that much TV. But if I had a DVR, I would still watch it. I get super excited whenever I catch it."

X Ambassadors

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Wooly's, 504 E. Locust St.

Cost: $12 in advance, $15 at the door