Pitchfork Writer Too Embarrassed To Say “Cobra Starship Spin-Off”


The first time I heard This Is Ivy League (back when they were known as just Ivy League), I assumed they were from Sweden, where this brand of sophisticated, historically-minded twee pop apparently bubbles up from underground springs. Actually, Stephen M. Deusner, they’re members of Cobra Starship. I was wrong, of course. The duo–Ryland Blackinton and Alex Suarez–actually hail from Brooklyn, and they recorded their self-titled fell-length debut in their own borough apartments. Which are probably paid for with money made from Cobra Starship. “The Richest Kids”, the album’s opening track, portrays them still cutting their teeth career-wise: “Oh we’ve been working, we’ve been paying our dues,” they sing over dreamy backing vocals, crisp guitar licks, and a distant tambourine. “We’ve got dirt on our hands and holes in our choes.” They’re singing about being in Cobra Starship and I think you mean “shoes.” Yet their tender Chad & Jeremy melodies and polished harmonies sound pretty professional, as if they’ve been at this for years. They have. As members of Cobra Starship.

Look, we’re not saying this song isn’t a perfectly pleasant ’60s homage. But how can you play these guys off as babes in the woods when a simple Google search reveals that they make their bread helping bring snakes on a plane alongside Gabe Saporta and whoever the lady keytarist is at the moment? These aren’t just touring members. Cobra Starship actually has a song named “Pleasure Ryland.” Here’s Gabe, Alex and Ry-Ry dropping that bomb on the acoustic tip.

So just say it, OK? “Featuring members of Cobra Starship.” It’s not that hard, trust me. It’s actually kind of fun to type the words “Cobra Starship” in a post. Anyone who wouldn’t listen to their anonymous little Rutle of a number just because they’re in Cobra Starship isn’t a fan they’d want anyway.

[The Forkcast post has been edited to note that the band’s press release didn’t mention they were members of Cobra Starship, and really, how could they know something that wasn’t in the press release? We sympathize.]

Cobra Starship – Pleasure Ryland acoustic [YouTube]New Music: This Is Ivy League: “The Richest Kids” [MP3/Stream] [Forkcast]