“If you guys don’t play ‘A Summer Chill’ on the 14th, I might cry. Just saying.” – Valerie (via MySpace)
“The Brooklyn-based duo fit neatly between recent cozy-pop faves The Whitest Boy Alive and Peter, Bjorn & John, working the same seam of homely beauty and prematurely autumnal sentimentality.” – Pitchfork
“You guys are amazing in every way possible.” – Elena (via MySpace)
“This band is like the badass guy in high school that gets away with misbehaving all the time because he’s like totally hot.” – Vice
“Knitting Factory?! Ohhhhhboy. Don’t worry. I’ll find a way to get there. Whether it be hitch hiking or jumping into a thing of radioactive waste so that I can get super powers and fly there.” - Brianna (via MySpace)
“In a gritty borough known for it’s ‘artsy’ rock and ‘experimental’ music these two just take it back to where it all began, simplified pop music with infectious harmonies that echo in your head.” – URB
Don’t be surprised when you see screaming girls at the Knitting Factory in NYC on April 14th when This Is Ivy League (Alex Suarez and Ryland Blackinton) performs an all ages show for its ever-growing throng of young enthusiasts in celebration of the release of its debut self-titled album on Twentyseven Records. For a band compared to classic acts such as Simon & Garfunkel and Belle & Sebastian, it may seem unusual to have so many tween fans. Certainly many of the band’s young supporters have arrived by way of Suarez and Blackinton’s main vocation as bassist and guitarist for pop sensation Cobra Starship (LINK) which has amassed some 10,000,000 MySpace plays on the heels of numerous MTV appearances.
Fans of This Is Ivy League can now revel in the perfect-pop that is the duo’s first long player (STREAM) which features the mega smash hit song “London Bridges” (MP3). The accompanying video (LINK) for the tune has already been singled out by Pitchfork which said,”...the clip creates and sustains a soft-focus weirdness, borrowing all the elements you’d expect from a postmillennial Chad & Jeremy -- blazers, bicycles, merry-go-rounds, a park in autumn-- while adding a few new flourishes-- women in animal costumes, gently evocative use of color and pattern. Alex Suarez and Ryan Blackinton croon their crisp harmonies, finishing each other’s sentences and riffs, nearly symmetrical as they perform atop their pedestals for the animal woman.”
Anyone missing out on This Is Ivy League’s performance at the Knitting Factory can catch the band again on April 17th at Sound Fix Records in Brooklyn where the group will perform with another Fanatic favorite, Freddie Stevenson. Spot dates will follow, after which Suarez and Blackinton will reconvene with Cobra Starship for a summer slot on this year’s Warped Tour.
This Is Ivy League Live:
04/14 New York, NY @ Knitting Factory w/The Mood, New Jerk Times
04/17 Brooklyn, NY @ Sound Fix w/Freddie Stevenson
This Is Ivy League Track Listing:
Stream The Album HERE
Release Date: April 1st, 2008
01. The Richest Kids
02. Love Is Impossible
03. London Bridges (MP3)
06. An Introduction
07. A Summer Chill
08. Modern World
09. Til The Day
10. Visions of Tokyo
11. Don’t Waste Your Love On Me
More about This Is Ivy League:
In 1997, Ryland Blackinton moved from Wilmington, Massachusetts to Boca Raton, Florida with his parents and two brothers. An avid guitar player and trumpet player in his school band, Blackinton immediately found an acquaintance in Connecticut native, Alex Suarez. Suarez played in a local pop-punk band. Blackinton came to watch them play at an abandoned house where many of their high school’s bands would practice and perform. Alex was a year older than Blackinton, which in those days seemed to be a big deal. Neither of them was particularly good at sports or academics but each was passionate about the guitar. Around this time Suarez got Blackinton a job at the local Jewish delicatessen. The two became close friends while discovering the joys of Jewish cuisine. Not cut out for the restaurant industry, Blackinton soon left the deli citing culinary differences and became involved in the theatre. Suarez continued to the culinary academy.
For seven years Suarez and Blackinton lost touch. Alex had been playing guitar with the Florida-based Kite Flying Society while starting a series of short-lived private catering companies. Ryland was finishing his BFA in Acting and playing guitar sporadically with Parliament/Funkadelic keyboard players Jerome Rodgers and Danny Bedrosian. Seeking success in their respective fields, they both moved north to New York City. Blackinton acted in a handful of classical plays at the Pearl Theatre Company and Suarez was working as a grocery delivery boy in Chelsea. Both struggled with low wages and creative stagnation. One day, the two were reunited on a certain unnamed internet networking service. Coincidentally, they lived just twelve blocks away from one another. After catching up for a few hours they traded music and agreed that they should form a band.
Blackinton had written a few songs which were heavily rooted in bossa nova and folk music. Suarez quickly learned the songs and brought a cohesive poppy edge to them. The culmination of the two styles produced a folky-pop sound that both were pleased with. In late 2006, the band were scouted by Gabe Saporta of Midtown to be in a side-project called Cobra Starship. Saporta wrote the hit song “Snakes On A Plane (Bring It)” for the b-movie wonder Snakes On A Plane. The success of this song lead him to bringing Cobra Starship into realization and asking Suarez and Blackinton to join the band. With a big push from MTV, the band has gone on to headline multiple world tours.
In early 2007, 60’s UK pop group Ivy League contacted Brooklyn’s Ivy League about its reunification. This lead to Ivy League changing its name to This Is Ivy League. Its self-titled debut full-length was released April 1, 2008.
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