Last Royals, The - The Last Royals EP
The Last Royals - The Last Royals EP
Record Label: Ooh La La Recordings
Release Date: Nov. 13, 2010
The Last Royals are a New York City-based duo comprised of Eric James and Mason Ingram. James is the principal songwriter and vocalist while Ingram serves as the multi-instrumentalist. The Last Royals EP is the first under their new moniker. The band was previously known as The Early Hours. Prior to The Early Hours, James was a solo singer-songwriter based out of Philadelphia writing commercial pop-rock a la Matt Nathanson. The Last Royals veers towards something decidedly more indie and ruminative. Less commercial, more brainy, but still accessible enough to warrant widespread attention and acclaim.
How is it?
Um, amazing. There's a reason James has a winning reputation among the likes of bands such as Lovedrug, Farewell Flight and others. The Last Royals EP is a tour-de-force, a knockout punch in the world of three-mintue indie pop. The disc opens with "Backseat Lovers," a piano-based slab of fizzy, lo-fi pop. There's definitely a hip-shaking element as James sings, "All your life has been a crying shame, nobody's gonna know your name, and we all want someone to love." The band swaggers forward on the should-be single 'Crystal Vases," a chirpy paean to a failed relationship replete with jangly guitars, handclaps, self-defeat and James' inherent charisma. If his charm on "Backseat Lovers," wasn't enough to win you over, then by the end of "Crystal Vases," he most assuredly has. Quite honestly, there are few songs as potent, splashy or catchy as "Crystal Vases." In under four minutes, he has done more with one song then some bands will spend lifetimes trying to find.
Therein lies the genius of The Last Royals. As if it were effortless, something he was born to do, James just emanates radiance, confidence and exuberance. Proof positive of this is successive track, "Always, To Belong," a tender, introspective and age-old piano ballad that seems destined for movie soundtracks and the denoument of many a TV series. "Come Take My Hand (demo)," follows and its another rousing success. More straightforward than any of its predecessors, "Come Take My Hand," is probably mere months away from crossing over into the mainstream and vaulting James and Ingram to cult-like status.
Hyperbole, maybe, but honestly, songwriters just don't write straightforward pop songs this terrific anymore. The EP ends with "Backseat Lovers (Crayon Remix)," an organ-laced variation of the original that quite honestly might be stronger than the original. For some reason James' spoken-word vocals have more potency with this organ-based rework. And then it ends, five songs, 19 minutes, and all of it nothing short of splendid. If this is just the beginning, then all of us music listeners are in for a real treat. The Last Royals are going to make a dent and this EP is the very proof of that.
agreed, this EP is sick