Arts Desk

One Track Mind: Princess Reason, Always Pretty

Standout Track: No. 4, “Books and Dignity,” a break-up song in the “I’ve moved on” vein. “So I am not concerned/When you tell me to go to hell/ I fell for a different girl,” sings Jack Stansbury, the 22-year-old behind Princess Reason and the College Park tape label Tricot Records. “I’ll get back my books/And you, your dignity.” Like a locomotive proudly chugging along, guitars and drums prop up Stansbury’s slightly lispy vocals. The EP is draped in a feeling of nostalgia, with nods to ’90s indie rock like Guided by Voices and Archers of Loaf.

Musical Motivation: After releasing experimental drones and trash-fidelity electronic pop as DEW in the fall, Stansbury wanted to try his hand at the stuff of his songwriting idols. “I really like [Robert] Pollard and short, simple pop songs,” Stansbury says. “I wanted to make something that was really simple, and really short songs.” This tape’s four songs all wrap up in less than two minutes.

Checked Out: The inspiration for “Books and Dignity” is obvious. “You know how you leave a book or something and you want it back [at the end of a relationship]?” Stansbury asks. “I gotta get Nine Stories back still.” In the song, a narrator with a new love attempts to deal with an ex’s spite: “Try to step aside and think about our age/A month from now you’ll say/‘This was just a stage.’” The payoff of a life renewed may not be all it’s cracked up to be, though: “We will feel again/What it’s like to be free/ But being free is pretty lonely.”

Listen to "Books and Dignity" after the jump.

Princess Reason plays March 31 at University of Maryland's WMUC radio station and April 4 at Velvet Lounge.

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