In the wake of that collection of commercials swiping Sigur Rós’s sounds to evoke their emotion without paying the band any residuals, Pitchfork has found some great examples of commercials also ripping off Fleet Foxes’s “White Winter Hymnal” and Grizzly Bear’s “Two Weeks.” Compare:

(via P4K)

So why do this when so much legally-licensed indie rock appears in commercials anyway? As in the Sigur Rós example, the band won’t give permission for the song, but the producers are in love with it after hearing it with the commercial edit. (The Thermals turned down $50,000 when Hummer wanted to use “It’s Trivia.”) Or, it’s still cheaper to have someone write and produce a quick soundalike. Or maybe the original is too politically charged, so it’s easier to have your own adorable TV star sing something that sounds pretty close to the sound you’re going for:

There is, at least, one band that never met a commercial they didn’t like. And they must be stopped.

Comments (6)
  1. time to lawyer up

  2. Huey Lewis and Tom Waits know how it is.

  3. Cha-ching! Fleet Foxes gonna make some doughnuts!
    (fyi the Best U vid was taken down)

  4. So, it’s *NOT* okay for a band to license a song because that makes them “sellouts”, but it *SHOULD BE* okay for them to sue (for money) if a commercial uses a song that kinda sounds like the original. Got it. Sarcasm aside, I don’t understand the righteous indignation over this. I read Sigur Ros’ blog post, and I didn’t get any hint of anger over the knockoffs. It seemed more like “We want to make sure everyone knows that, even though they sound like us, we didn’t write or license any songs for commercials.” And if the band isn’t pissed off, why should I be? It’s their music after all. But I ramble…

  5. Theres a lot of case… Here is another with the White Stripes We’re gonna be friends

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