Los Angeles, CA
Vampire Weekend, Ra Ra Riot, Belle & Sebastian
There’s a genre of indie pop that is unapologetically upper-middle class. They sing about it, they look like it, they sound like it. It’s not that they’re trying to gloat about being privileged, they’re just writing about what they know. The most notable act to do this is Vampire Weekend, whose songs handle such weighty topics as college campuses, grammar, and island resorts. The latest group to go down this road is the LA-based Princeton, whose debut EP was named for a group of British intellectuals – Bloomsbury Group. The subject matter on their early recordings might have been a bit heavy handed, but the songs were infectious and catchy. Fortunately, they’ve toned down the concept, and their latest release, Remembrance of Things to Come is a wonderful pop record that bounces along with precision, thoughtfulness and, most importantly, accessibility.
Princeton is made up of twin brothers, Jesse and Matt Kivel, and their long-time friend Ben Usen. The trio grew up in California together, but it wasn’t until 2005, when all three were studying abroad in London, that they decided to form a band. After honing their sound and writing enough songs, they recorded A Case of the Emperor’s Clothes and then the follow up Bloomsbury. Their recordings and live performances earned them supporting slots for bands like Vampire Weekend, Camera Obscura, The Ruby Suns, Ra Ra Riot and more. Their latest release, Remembrance of Things to Come, was released on Kanine Records last month and has helped push them to the next level of buzz.