This Is Ivy League can be credited as the first ever FensePost Feature Band. Of course, back then the group was simply called Ivy League. The change came later. After learning several groups carried the moniker and that one, a 60’s English pop group, was still in existence, they opted for a change; states Ryland Blackinton, “Too attached to the name, we knew we couldn’t let it go so we just augmented it.” Thus, they became This Is Ivy League.
And so now the pop duo embarks on a new journey with their debut, self-titled LP. We already knew via the London Bridges EP that This Is Ivy League wrote descriptive tunes, but opening track “The Richest Kids” takes this to a whole new element, adding signature two-part vocal harmonies to accompany the free-spirited summer tale. That catchy, popular tune, “London Bridges” finds another home here, as does the Kings Of Convenience-like early track “Viola”, which was absent from their EP.
Again the duo selectively comes off with similarities to both Simon & Garfunkel and Kings Of Convenience, but they do add a Beattles-esque melody here and there, namely on “Celebration”. Yet despite these comparisons, the music of This Is Ivy League comes off as genuinely their own.
Leaked out over the past year or so were two phenomenal tracks, “A Summer Chill” and “Modern World”. The former came via a demo posted on MySpace while the latter found its way into a homemade music video. Both are indie-pop gems, though “Modern World” remains a major favorite due to the soft, romantic, and often nostalgic nature of the tune.
Due to their stature as the first FensePost Feature Band, I feel a special affinity toward this group that, despite nearly two years since I first came across them, has yet to wane even in the slightest degree. Where London Bridges saw the duo master tunes together, the This Is Ivy League LP is plusher, with fuller arrangements and documented progress in production value. It’s thoroughly enjoyable, without a weak tune to be found.
This review was originally published April 18, 2008 on the old version of FensePost.
TwentySeven [CD, 2008]
1. The Richest Kids
2. Love Is Impossible
3. London Bridges
6. An Introduction
7. A Summer Chill
8. Modern World
9. Till The Day
10. Visions Of Tokyo
11. Don’t Waste Your Love On Me