Princeton Cocoon of Love

Princeton Cocoon of Love
Ask Zooey Glass or AC Slater ― there's something inherently dislikeable about preppies (sorry, Vampire Weekend). Despite the Ivy League implications, Princeton's name comes from a California street rather than the New Jersey university. Still, the band's clean indie pop groups them with a rash of nice-young-men bands, but its self-aware lyricism and polished, bubblegum-ish instrumentation set it apart. Cocoon of Love draws heavily on '60s pop, albeit via more recent acolytes. Lead single "Shout it Out" plays like Lucky Soul slowed down a few RPMs, "Sylvie" evokes Jens Lekman's doo-wop storytelling and "Korean War Memorial" channels Magnetic Fields (blame the clever, non-romantic tone). Also, the record does manage some bygone allusions, notably the Left Banke-sounding closer, "The Wild." Album highlight "Sadie & Andy" combines scattered horns and a wry, post-romance boy/girl exchange to create a self-aware, jaunty gem. Cutesy title aside, Cocoon of Love is an assured, playful and intelligent debut. (Kanine)