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This Is Ivy League

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Album Review

The duo behind This Is Ivy League (Alex Suarez and Ryland Blackinton) are also members of the touring band for emo comedians Cobra Starship. This leads to an interesting dynamic in their fan base, which seems split between teenaged Cobra fanz on one end of the spectrum and indie poppers with an affinity for hushed, Simon & Garfunkel-styled tunes on the other. The duo's first full-length album delivers on the promise of their debut EP, and while it may not set the young girls' hearts aflame, it is a satisfying album full of hooky tunes, relaxed performances, and an easygoing charm that makes it perfect listening for a variety of twee occasions. Influenced by S&G but also modern indie pop (think Belle & Sebastian), bossa nova, and '50s pop, the duo's sound is built around lightly strummed acoustic guitars and then filled out in most cases with gently rocking electric guitars, restrained drums, and some fancy accouterments like organ, handclaps and harmonica. Most importantly, though, are Suarez and Blackinton's voices as they twine together in warm, rich harmonies that conjure up turtlenecks, fireplaces, and mellow beverages on the ballads, and swee, lazy summer days on the more uptempo tracks. Their individual voices are fine, very lovely in fact, but the record really soars when they work together. Tracks like "London Bridges" (reworked here in a slightly slicker version than the one found on the EP), the nearly rocking "Celebration," and "A Summer Chill" should be staples of indie pop play lists all summer long, dreamy tunes like "Til the Day" and "Viola" are enough to ward off the chill of a fall evening. This Is Ivy League may not be enough to knock top tier groups like the Lucksmiths or Camera Obscura off the summit of the indie pop pile but it does make a strong case for the duo to be ranked right up there as some of the best pop music around in 2008. — Tim Sendra, Rovi


Formed: 2006 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

Although indie pop duo This Is Ivy League formed in August 2005, Alex Suarez (guitar, trumpet, vocals, drums, bass) and Ryland Blackinton (guitar, vocals, synth, bass) had originally met in 1997 during high school in Florida. After high school, Suarez pursued a degree in the culinary arts and Blackinton obtained a B.F.A. in acting. Years later while living in Brooklyn, Blackinton discovered to his surprise that Suarez was also residing in the borough. The...
Full bio
This Is Ivy League, This Is Ivy League
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  • 14,99 лв
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Pop/Rock
  • Released: 18 May 2008

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