I can't resist Save the Scene, the debut album from King of Prussia. It's a small album, self-released while the band shops for a label, but their sound is fully-formed and big, and the album is at least as good as the new Shins--no, better. Part of the reason they've emerged with such a big, sophisticated sound is that, well, they're from Athens, Georgia, the best music scene in America right now to polish your indie-pop skills--but more because the members have already paid their dues in other outfits impressive in their own right: most of the guys migrated from the now-defunct Beijing, and Peter Alvanos of Fabulous Bird joins them. They also joined members of Athens' preeminent Elephant 6 collective to form "An Observatory" at a recent R.E.M. tribute concert. Their pop sound is a warm embrace, but the lyrics are laced with acid wit and clean storytelling, as on the first track of the album, "Spain in the Summertime," which you can download below. Even wittier: the lyrics to the entire album are printed in miniature on the CD, and if you order directly from the band--as you must, at the moment--they'll give you a magnifying glass to read them. The lyrics are so good you'll humiliate yourself to use it. But spin this album for friends and give them all the help you can--this underground release deserves a vast and bright spotlight.
King of Prussia - Spain in the Summertime
King of Prussia on Myspace (with order info)
MP3: An Observatory - These Days (live)