Free and legal MP3: Princeton (orchestrated pop, w/ boy-girl duet)

“Sadie and Andy” – Princeton

From its faux classical intro to its jaunty doo-wop melody and deadpan storytelling, “Sadie and Andy” is all craft and artifice. And pretty much irresistible. “I stock the milk and all the eggs there,” Andy sings, catching Sadie up on his daily doings in the grocery store, “And all the herbal tea.” Sadie is radically uninterested. It’s been ten years. “I haven’t thought of you at all,” she says. “And I don’t wish to know.”

It’s the standard boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy’s-love-grows-with-loss, girl-could-care-less story, and it’s found its musical apotheosis in this cheerful-wistful piece of precisely orchestrated pop, with its swirling strings, diligent trumpet, elusive oboe, and martial snare. That it’s much ado about nothing–did she mention she hasn’t thought of him at all?–is part of the thematic point. Matt Kivel’s Andy sings with great nasal earnestness, a wannabe crooner with neither quite the voice nor the charisma to pull it off. Guest vocalist Meredith Metcalf, for her part, is a breathy ice queen, a Sadie not in any obvious way worthy of Andy’s obsession, but that’s always the underlying irony of this story.

Princeton is a quartet from L.A. featuring the twins Jesse and Matt Kivel. (The name comes from the street they grew up on street in Santa Monica.) “Sadie and Andy” is the lead track on the band’s debut album, Cocoon of Love, released in late September on Brooklyn-based Kanine Records.

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