Kindercore Records is pleased to announce its first official music release after rising from the dead earlier this year. King of Prussiaâ€™s debut mini-LP, Save the Scene, will be released on January 29, 2008. Itâ€™s the kind of erudite, sparkling pop music that would do the labelâ€™s sterling back catalog (Of Montreal, I Am The World Trade Center) proud.
While a quick assessment of King of Prussia’s debut might bring to mind the Smiths, Belle and Sebastian, or a more straight-ahead Flaming Lips, the band’s deftly-designed, often misanthropic, lyrics–which speak of home as place, home as state, consumerism, summertime, etc.–place the band closer to the Steely Dans and Magnetic Fields of the world.
Bandleader/lyricist/singer Brandon Hanick says this: â€œI started writing songs before I could write. That is, I would dictate lyrics to my father who would write them down for me. I must’ve been about 2 or 3 when I wrote my first song. It was about the things I had to do each morning when I woke up….brush my teeth, eat breakfast, etc. I found a few of these songs in our storage shed a few years back. I knew they were songs and not poems or ramblings because of the “ba ba bas” and “do do dos” I had included throughout. Not much has changed in that respect. I still like a good “ba ba ba” every now and then.â€
The album was recorded all around “The Florida-Georgia Region.” Attempting to unify the once warring-universes, Hanick began production of Save the Scene in the closet of his father’s apartment in Largo, Fl before making the trek back to Georgia. Playing to click tracks, he crudely/eloquently put the initial acoustic guitar/scratch vocals down on what would become his trusty, portable studio–a Boss BR-1180.
The recording moved on to Atlanta, where Hanick was able to convince Brian Hall (ex-Beijing/Touchdown!) to sneak them in to Georgia State University’s practice rooms, high above the city. The mission went off without a hitch and allowed them to do something they hadn’t done in previous bands: record live piano. It was a big deal to them and, after much rejoicing, Hanick bid his farewell to Hall and headed back to Athens to get down to the truly time-intensive recording with Trey McManus, proclaimed by all to be the “King of Small Format Recordings.” Some may call it a bedroom recording. But very few would agree that it sounds like a bedroom recording. In fact, Save the Scene was recorded at Hanick’s home, in Trey’s bedroom, at The Chapel and in the liquor storage closet at local discotheque, The Go Bar.
King of Prussia, while on stage, tends to vacillate between the unruly and the subdued. When not on stage or at The Chapel, one can usually spot the members bouncing around Athens, traveling from one hospitality job to the other, looking forward to their future travels. There exist other loosely affiliated choir kids who are scattered there and here, joining in time in songs from time to time. As it passes, time will likely find this group just ahead, writing and recording great songs and singing along with one another.
Peter Alvanos, Taylor Coggin, Katie Griffin, Brian Hall, Brandon Hanick, Elizabeth Jones, Trey McManus, A.J. Rownd, Brian Smith, and Nathan Troutman contributed to Save the Scene, though the bandâ€™s live lineup is now simply Peter, Brandon, A.J, Nathan, and Trey.
People say nice things:
â€œKing of Prussia live up to the promise of their name with lush, romantic, and, yes, regal pop.â€-3Hive
â€œAn extremely polished pop sound with ridiculously clever lyrics.â€ -Optical Atlas Elephant Six Blog
â€œ[Save the Scene] showcases the variety of directions King of Prussia is capable of going with satisfying results.â€ -Cable and Tweed
â€œKing of Prussia shows all the signs of joining…Of Montreal in the ranks of [Athensâ€™] elite: melodic but never jangly, throwback-nostalgic but never kitschy, bright but never precious. Neutral Milk Hotel would be proud.â€ -Columbia University Spectator
Kindercore, the influential underground boutique record label has been reborn as an independent media label–its new roster expanded to include bands, comic book artists, analysts, premier t-shirt designers, and humorists from Athens, GA and beyond.
The effort is being orchestrated by Dan Geller (I Am the World Trade Center, USSR, Ruby Isle) and Ryan Lewis (The Four Corners, The Agenda), who founded the company in 1996 to document the fertile Athens indie music scene and together put out over 70 releases in seven years. Before entering into a financial partnership that would eventually bring about the temporary death of Kindercore, the label released records from rising indie stars like Of Montreal, Masters of the Hemisphere, Maserati, The Essex Green, The Sunshine Fix, Dressy Bessy and Kings of Convenience, and in 2000, was named the year’s “Indie Label to Watch” by Spin Magazine.
Kindercore grew beyond everyone’s expectations until 2003 when the label was thought to have been killed by a bad business deal. The label went into a dormant state in the New York State Supreme Court system for years until a judgment was finally received, once again granting Lewis and Geller control over the name, catalog and their once human bodies.
Much changed in the 3 years that Kindercore was dormant, leading the founders to reevaluate the way they want to run the reemerging company. “At a time when major labels are becoming increasingly irrelevant and the once strong network of traditional record stores is in disarray, we really want to connect directly with our audience, giving fans the most complete and satisfying experience possible for the lowest viable price” said Lewis.
Geller, who splits time between Kindercore and his job as a Biofuels research engineer and Lewis have made additional adjustments to the Kindercore plan that take into account global issues beyond the entertainment world. “We will be making every effort to raise awareness about important climate and energy issues while doing everything we can to ensure that the company makes as small a negative impact on the planet as possible. We will also be using environmentally friendly processes whenever they are available” explains Geller. To this end Kindercore is shifting focus from manufacturing CDs – a process which is not easy on the environment – to digital distribution through a strategic partnership with IODA, the Independent Online Distribution Alliance. As part of this arrangement, the entire Kindercore catalog is now available from iTunes, Emusic and other digital download services.
The company’s new expanded focus continues Geller and Lewis’ original goal of bringing together talented people and presenting them to a discerning audience, thereby creating a community of like minded artists and fans that redefines the relationship between the two. Serving as the hub of this new Kindercore universe is Kindercore.com, an expansive webspace featuring music, comics, film projects, forums, writing, clothing and more as it continues to grow and evolve with Geller and Lewis, the artists and the audience. “Our priority is to help progressive artists – be they musicians, illustrators, animators, film makers, fashion designers or writers â€“ to create and deliver their inventions directly to the people, providing a place for people to come together and dig on art, music, science, fashion, politics and life in general” said Lewis.