Princeton – Cocoon of Love (2009)


Fans of Jens Lekman, The Magnetic Fields, and My Morning Jacket should check out the L.A. band Princeton.  I’m really been digging their debut album, Cocoon of Love. It just released yesterday on Kanine records, and is a really solid folk/indie album. My favorite tracks off the album include “Shout It Out,” “Calypso Gold,” “Sadie and Andy,”  “Sylvie,” and “Stunner Shades in Heaven.”

Princeton is twin brothers Jesse & Matt Kivel, Ben Usen and David Kitz. In support of the new album the band is wrapping up a tour with Ra Ra Riot and will head out this fall with Art Brut and later with OK GO (dates after jump).

Cocoon of Love (2009):

(MP3) Princeton – Shout It Out

(MP3) Princeton – Sadie And Andy (Feat. Meredith Metcalf)

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(Video) “Martina and Clive Krantz”

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Falcatross – Sprung (2009)

Falcatross Sprung

If you are a fan of Bishop Allen, Clem Snide, John Vanderslice, or the Mountain Goats,  I highly recommend checking out the Brooklyn based band Falcatross. Their debut album, Sprung, is one of my favorites of the year, and the mastermind behind the project, Pete Fitzpatrick, creatively incorporates a wide range of folk instruments to make for one fun listening experience. Expect banjos, omnichords, violin, and most importantly hand claps, among other awesome instruments!

In addition to Sprung being an overall great album, I really appreciate the confidence this debut exhibits. In a world where instant gratification is increasingly expected, Fitzpatrick presents us with an eleven track album that contains only two tracks under four minutes long (and eight of them are above five minutes). Fitzpatrick is a professionally trained multi-instrumentalist, and fully utilizes his talents by not rushing songs. He allows things to build, and go in different directions, and playfully experiment in a mastered way where the listener can tell he is still in complete control.

Some of my favorite tracks on the album include “Momentum,””Simba Goes Down,””Ransom Smile,” and “Turn of the Season.” “Momentum” is one of the catchiest songs that I’ve heard in a while, and will definitely be on my top tracks of the year list.

Most of the instruments on Sprung are played by Fitzpatrick, who has played in a variety of bands, including Clem Snide (guitar/banjo/euphonium), The Pee Wee Fist, the Shirim Klezmer Orchestra (banjo), Naftule’s Dream (guitar), and Green 4 (drums). If that doesn’t make you a little jealous that he is such a well-versed musician, just keep in mind that those are only a few of the instruments he knows how to play.

Sprung (2009):

(MP3) Falcatross – Momentum
(MP3) Falcatross – Simba Goes Down

Buy Sprung! | Official Website | Myspace

This is a cool video of the band you should check out.


Bon Iver @ Hollywood Forever Cemetery

hollywoord forever cemetery

At 5:45 A.M., Bon Iver played a sold out, special event at Hollywood Forever Cemetery (or as I now like to call it, “Hollywood Forever Ago”) in Los Angeles. Hundreds of people gathered on blankets and sleeping bags – some having gotten there at 11 PM the night before, one hour before doors officially opened.

Justin Vernon of Bon Iver seemed as awed by the setting as his fans, stating “Well, I think this is probably the weirdest thing any of us have ever done.” Even though Hollywood Forever is famous for showing movies on Sunday nights, Bon Iver seems to be the pioneer of a sunrise concert in this arena.

As the fog slowly cleared and daylight began to break, Bon Iver played an absolutely perfect set, hitting all of their songs. I have to believe even the dead people buried nearby appreciated the resonating beauty of his music, mostly from For Emma, Forever Ago, and some newer work. Justin made a disclaimer that unlike most bands, he would not be playing an encore. “We’re a young band still. We don’t have that many songs yet.” And sure enough a few songs later, about an hour and fifteen minutes after the set began, he said, “This is the last song we know how to play. I’m a little embarrassed,” before launching into a beautiful, eerie version of “Wolves,” with everyone joining in on the chorus. Hopefully this will motivate the band to release a sophomore album soon – this is the encore we have all really been waiting for.

written by guest contributor, Lauren Isaacson.

DeYarmond Edison (Bon Iver and Megafaun) – Love Long Gone (via Rollo & Grady)

Bon Iver – Skinny Love

Bon Iver – For Emma

Ramona Falls – Intuit


Ramona Falls is Brent Knopf, programmer, general Renaissance man and one third of the superb Menomena. The band takes its name from an idyllic waterfall somewhere in Oregon, which seems a fitting reflection of Inuits effortless, nearly organic beauty.  I have passing cycles of musical ADD, fleeting affairs with different albums from week to week. This is the first album to stick in a while. For anyone familiar with Menomena, it bears Knopf’s signatures: fluid but hesitant piano leads, jagged guitar harmonics, a casual tenor delivery.  The production is immaculate, encompassing an army of instrumentation, but never anything toward the superfluous. Every percussive blast, every guitar strum, every ethereal harmony and horn flare is precise.  In this way Intuit touches on and expands the great parts of Menomena’s Friend and Foe, hitting a solid pop sensibility with a flair for the insane. From moment to moment I’m hearing the harsher parts of Mount Eerie records, the more lofty parts of Flaming Lips records and something undeniably unique swirling in the ether.

The minute mark on opener “Melectric” hits with a melodramatic surge in instrumentation: mandolin backed by sparse piano, brutal kick hits propelling the visceral tug of Knopfs vocals: “Please, don’t give me false hope/you’re free to go.” At this point Intuit could go straight for the forlorn love epic and remain engaging,  but it decides to go straigh rock n’ roll with the following track “I Say Fever.”

“I Say Fever” exemplifies Knopf’s mind for structure and pacing. It strikes humble beginnings on a post-apocalyptic western guitar groove, peppered again with fragile piano leads and a hesitant vocal delivery. It’s almost like he’s scared of what happens next: a neck-bending guitar breakdown, soaring vocals and fractured harmonies. I defy you not to throw your hands in reverence toward the sky when the chorus in “I Say Fever” hits. Reverence of what? I don’t know. Just shit in general, I guess.

As epic as the aforementioned gets, “Bellyfulla” is the song keeping me up at night.  Intuit finds it’s most intimate moments in Bellyfulla’s sweeping harmonies, in the scattered yet gentle pacing of the acoustic guitar. Knopf drops metaphors speaking to a vague restlessness, while the strings fasten an ephemeral existence as they sweep to and from existence. It’s the defining moment many records hint toward but never hit, a type of resolution that people strive for but can’t find. After the darkness of “I Say Fever” and “Going Once, Going Twice” (where he laments “I’m desperate just to find a respite for my mind”) Knopf has found something in “more happiness than a body can hold.” Hell, I want that. And hell, I nearly find it in those harmonies.

From Intuit:

Ramona Falls – I Say Fever

Ramona Falls – Bellyfulla

MySpace | Barsuk | Amazon

LA! Help These United States find their missing laptop (with hundreds of unrecorded demos!)

Our friends These United States lost their laptop in Los Angeles that contains a few hundred demos of unrecorded songs. If you lead to its safe recovery, you just might find your name on the liner notes of band’s next album!!! (or in tUS frontman Jesse Elliott’s words: “You shall receive my first-born child, and perhaps even my second, depending on whether the songs are any good…”)

The internet community is able to do so much with a little group effort… Raise millions for Ron Paul, RickRoll everything, and even supply an infinite number of adorable kitten pics.. is this to much to ask for? Call up the kids, friends, relatives, whoever you know in LA, and let’s find their laptop and make history (if you can’t help in that way, Digging will help too!). Hooray!

Everything touches Everything (2009):

These United States - Will It Ever

Crimes (2008):

These United States – Honor Among Thieves

A Picture of the Three of Us at The Gate to the Garden of Eden (2008):

These United States – First Sight



Pretty & Nice Homework Assignment

I talk about Pretty & Nice a lot. (Like Here and Here.) It’s getting bad. But I’ve taken my obsession to something of a more dignified level. Recently, my friend Addison Post and I produced a video for the Boston Phoenix to showcase a new Pretty & Nice song. They wrote it for a new montly segment called “Homework” where the Phoenix tasks a Boston bands with writing and recording a song under unreasonable deadlines with a bunch of zany critieria. Check out the video here and stream the song below.

From the Boston Phoenix’s Homework Assignment:

Pretty & Nice – Massive U.

Next month we grade Hallejuah the Hills.

MySpace | Get Young |

Bears – ‘Who Knows’


If you are a fan of Beulah (like myself), and cry yourself to sleep every night over their break up (like myself), then I highly recommend you check out the song below by the band Bears called “Who Knows.” Pretty much everything about the song brings to mind Beulah, from the instruments, to the catchy vocals… even the lyrics are Beulahesque. It’s really great.

Bears are based out of Cleveland, Ohio and band members include Craig Ramsey and Charlie McArthur (Pat McNulty, Devon Coffee, and Sean Sullivan help out live). These guys have some solid music and I also really appreciate their senses of humor from the little bit I’ve seen roaming their site. You’ll be seeing more Bears on IndieMuse soon, but in the meantime, check out their Myspace.

(mp3) Bears – “Who Knows”

Here’s an acoustic video version of the song they just posted today:


myspace | site | itunes

On an unrelated note: Sorry that we have been on an unannounced hiatus recently. A long story short, IndieMuse was hacked into by a spammer, and it’s been a huge headache to clean up. Between cleaning the site up and other projects keeping us busy (more on this soon), we’ve had a hard time updating IndieMuse. We finally have the site spam free (I think), so we are now back in business. Thanks for all your support!