January 3, 2007

Spirited & effervescent retro-pop from Princeton

My newest find, thanks to friend Chad (who said that they remind him of what the Zombies might be doing if they were recording today), is a couple of 20 year-olds from California who go by the name Princeton. Clearly these kids listen to some great influences because their music is instantly likeable without being silly. It’s simple and catchy, with some great handclap action going on, as well as tambourines, heavenly harmonies, and piano cadences that stick in your head.

Their 2006 EP A Case Of the Emperor’s Clothes was made with “one microphone, one acoustic guitar, a cheap keyboard, three pairs of hands, three sets of vocal chords, and one small egg shaker. All of the music produced by this small arsenal of sound was compiled, edited, and recorded in two rather poorly decorated London flats by a set of twin brothers and their best friend.”

Thus bringing us to the second best thing about this music — it was recorded during a study abroad sojourn (!!) which is something near and dear to my heart. While studying abroad at various universities in London, brothers Jesse & Matt Kivel and their pal Ben Usen also performed their music relentlessly in pubs and clubs, recorded the EP, and even got some radio interviews and mentions (Radio Star Fleet London, Smoke Radio). And that’s pretty impressive — the only thing I can boast about doing extremely well while studying abroad in Florence was eating a lot of gelato & drinking more than I should have on school nights.

Blackbeard – Princeton
(maybe set your iTunes to start playing it at 0:02 and skip the opening pirate chortle/disgruntled Santa noise)
The Indifference Curve – Princeton
(it kicks in delightfully around 0:54)

More tunes for free download on the Princeton MySpace.

Awww, look. Princeton gets lost on the Tube just like I do. Circle? Bakerloo? Piccadilly?


  • Happy New Year from Idaho!

    Just wanted to say how much I’ve enjoyed your posts over the past year. Looking forward to more great blogging, and tunes, in 2007!

    Phil — January 3, 2007 @ 11:11 pm

  • Nice find. Loving these songs.

    Bruce — January 6, 2007 @ 3:19 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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