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American Princes

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American Princes are an edgy but tuneful indie rock quintet whose angular guitar lines and anxiety-inflected vocals blend with hooky melodies and solid rhythms. American Princes are also a rare example of a band that moved away from the big city in pursuit of success; vocalist and rhythm guitarist David Slade, drummer Matt Quinn, and bassist John Beachford began working together while they were living in New York City, but the pressure and expense of life there made it hard to focus on their music. In early 2003, they pulled up stakes and hit the road for Little Rock, AR, in search of cheaper digs and more time to spend on the band. A dying van stranded Slade in New Jersey for a few weeks while his bandmates settled in down South; by the time he arrived in Little Rock, Quinn and Beachford had been jamming with Collins Kilgore, a local guitar player whose style meshed well with the new arrivals. By August, the band had recorded their first album, We Are the People, for the independent Max Records label, and set out on a nationwide tour. The summer of 2004 saw the release of a second album, Little Spaces, also released by Max. The band toured even more extensively behind their second effort, and in early 2005 Beachford left American Princes, with Luke Hunsicker taking over as bassist. On the advice of their friends in the band Lucero, American Princes signed a deal with Yep Roc Records in mid-2005 and went into the studio with producer Alan Weatherhead to record their third album (and first for their new label), 2006's Less and Less. Guitarist/vocalist Will Boyd joined the Princes' lineup by the end of that year, and Less and Less went on to gain the band a number of new fans, including veteran R&B producer Chuck Brody (Beastie Boys, Northern State, Wu Tang Clan). In an unlikely partnership, Brody signed on as the band's new producer, and American Princes decamped to his Manhattan studio to work on a fourth full-length release. Other People arrived in April 2008 and introduced elements of '80s-styled new wave and post-punk to the band's sound. ~ Mark Deming

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