The Last Royals were born from life’s drudgery, from the soaring highs and bottomed-out lows of daily urban existence. The lyrics reveal the slog of any city, the world’s unending grind, and ultimately reflect the perspective that beneath the grit and the weight is the faint gleam of hope. The stories woven through the verses and the choruses are earthed in reality and grounded in truth, telling tales of characters who live in urban landscapes as they come and go, love and fail, and desperately desire things of the heart and things of the flesh.
The Last Royals, a duo of writer/singer/producer Eric James and drummer Mason Ingram, are nascent, having only recently emerged from a joint project that brought the two musicians together in Spring 2010. The connection urged a new chapter in Eric’s career as a musician, evolving him from a solo artist who played under the moniker The Early Hours to one-half of a self-proclaimed pop band.
The songs that appear on The Last Royals’ debut self-titled EP, released on November 16th, 2010, re-imagine tracks originally penned for The Early Hours, which appeared on a self-released album of eight tracks called A Week And A Day. That project, driven simply by Eric’s desire to create solid, expressive songs, was written in eight days, each track representing one day of the week, plus an additional day. Eric’s sense of the performative was initiated in that collection as he built stories around imagined yet brutally real characters in a cityscape.
The Last Royals EP features final interpretations of four songs finished with Mason at Brooklyn’s Headgear Studios in July 2010, plus an additional remix of anchor track “Backseat Lovers”. While the lyrics spin harsh tales of life’s bittersweet sensibility, the music, upbeat electro-pop, tells an alternative narrative of levity, faith and danceable optimism. The tracks divulge the humble perspective of one man living in Manhattan as he works crap jobs to support his family and spends his nights locked in a recording studio searching for his personal truth.
The Last Royals collect the discarded remnants of a day in the city and glue them back together to reveal a new picture, making music from the broken pieces. The songs are necessary responses to the difficulties life presents. The sound of the music is hopeful and bright, but the juxtaposition of words and sounds evoke a candid depth that accurately echoes our lives. In the end the conflation of all the pieces harkens back to the moment of its creation. The most beautiful moment of any song is the moment it was written and it’s that instant that lingers in each note of The Last Royals’ music.