by Robert Bell
Maybe a year ago, I was riding somewhere with a buddy of mine, hand hanging out the window, not really listening to whatever was on the car stereo. I don't remember where we were headed, but I do remember when this great song came on his MP3 player. It was a perfect summertime jam: catchy and jangly and easygoing, with a fantastic chorus of falsetto "Ahh-ooohs."
"What's this?" I asked.
"American Princes," he said. "It's one of the last things they recorded."
I thought it terribly unfortunate that such a gem of a song had never been released, but that situation has been rectified with "American Princes," the band's final EP.
It includes the group's last five songs, and kicks off with that aforementioned nugget, titled "Waiting for the Man to Come." Even judging just from the 90-second samples on iTunes, the other cuts are every bit as solid as that one, and although they vary stylistically, each one still sounds unmistakably like an American Princes song.
There's a bittersweet thread of longing that runs through these last recordings, which were recorded in the summer of 2009 and were originally intended for the full-length follow up to 2008's "Other People." Of course, that album wasn't to be completed. Bassist Luke Hunsicker became seriously ill, and passed away last August after a battle with brain cancer.
"I hate the way this story ends," David Slade sings on the EP's final track, "Cruel Story of Youth."
You can download the EP right now via Reynolds Records or on July 19 through iTunes and other digital music retailers.
A letter from the band and a track listing for the EP are after the jump.
A letter from the band:
Dear friends of American Princes,
We’re very excited to announce the release of our self-titled EP on Reynolds Records. These five songs are the band’s last studio recordings, done in the summer of 2009 with Chuck Brody, who also produced 2008’s “Other People.” Originally, the songs were meant to be our first foray into a new album, but after Luke, our bassist, became ill, we realized that these may very likely be our last songs.
We feel that the eclecticism of the material hints at what might have been our best album yet. With Collins’ Kinks-meets-Velvet-Underground, sun drenched delivery on “Waiting for the Man to Come,” Will’s crisp slice of power pop on “Your Body,” and David’s icy anxiety on “Rock n’ Roll,” this EP shows how we had broadened our conception of what our own brand of rock could be.
"American Princes" EP
Complete track listing:
1. Waiting for the Man to Come
2. Sons of Regret
3. Self Connected
4. Rock and Roll
5. Cruel Story of Youth