The Last Royals
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The Last Royals

Brooklyn, New York, United States | INDIE

Brooklyn, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Indie


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Twistification (review) - 9 out of 10"

For those familiar with this talented NYC Indie-Rock duo, it has been a long wait for this album to be released. (Check out our interview with front man Eric James from late 2010 where he discussed the forthcoming release.)

After my first few listens of Twistification, it seems well worth the wait. Eric James and Mason Ingram have been working on this release for almost two years, following up the success of their self-titled debut EP and its cornerstone offering, the catchy hit “Crystal Vases.” The new album builds on the previous success and is a fantastic way to start off the 2013 rock music year.

On Twistification, we get another glimpse of the band’s original hit, as well as a few re-imagined versions of songs off of the debut EP. We also get eight new tracks just screaming for airplay. James and Ingram simply just churn out fun, catchy rock tunes, and there have to be at least a half-dozen potential hits on the album. It’s an absolute blast to listen to, and one that will be an early favorite for Alt-Rock fans everywhere. It’s not all rollicking upbeat rock nuggets; as the band also shows the depth and breadth of their abilities with a few deeper, slower tracks. The Ooh La La Records release also features some interesting production effects, which generally work well to weave the album together.

The album kicks off and closes with complementary songs, “Winter Waltz” and “Barefoot Winter Waltz,” a pair of tender, sensitive, introspective tracks that expertly ebb and flow as the protaganist wrestles with the complexities of a broken relationship. It’s a great way to bracket the album and pull everything together. James vocals are absolutely fantastic on the latter.

James has a distinctive voice and a clear talent for lyric writing. On Twistification, he takes his unique peeks at life in the big city and shares the experiences in a way that is relate-able and memorable. The songs between the “waltzes” are generally hard-driving rollicking fun rock ‘n roll. Many of the tunes have a cool summertime, cruising vibe to them. “Only the Brave” was the first single released and it’s a great representation of what we’ll find troughout the album. It’s a roaring anthem that will resonate with fans of all ages.

On “Friday Night” we get a great glimpse of James’ penchant for featuring old 80's era analog keyboards. It’s a cool touch that gives the songs an old school feel while at the same time driving through new boundaries. It’s another track that’s impossible not to enjoy. “Good Day Radio” is cut from the same cloth, just a bit more over the top. I find myself feeling guilty about enjoying it so much, but, like the rest of the album, it’s just addictive enjoyable music.

My two favorite songs cover two ends of the spectrum. “All Over Again,” is a poignant love song and an absolute sure fire hit for the band. It’s got a fantastic hook, “Let’s fall in love all over again; If it’s love that you want just tell me the where and the when.” It’s beautiful, memorable, and incredibly likeable. The other personal favorite is the dark melancholy “I Hate California;” a stark stripped down ode to an unhappy place that many listeners will be able to relate to. Both of them have the makings of classics we’ll be hearing on soundtracks for years to come.

“Crystal Vases” was the 2010 surprise hit on Sirius XM’s Alt-Nation and sounds much the same on this release. ”Come Take My Hand” from the EP receives a makeover and has a richer sound with more tender vocals that work great. ”Always To Belong” is the other track carried forth from the EP. Although it is creatively re-imaged, I enjoyed the original more. But, despite my preference for the original, I’m impressed by the band’s continuous attempts to push their own boundaries and break new creative ground.

It’s still incredibly early in the year, but this dynamic masterpeice is destined to be one of the releases that becomes the soundtrack for the year, if not a generation. It’s hip, cool, addictive rock that you’ll find impossible to put down. - Rara's Farm

"Twistification (review)"

Twistification is a refreshing listen. Think The Strokes meets The Killers meets Mumford & Sons. The sound is superbly balanced; rough yet catchy enough to allow The Last Royals to slip in and out of the mainstream with ease while maintaining a unique edge. Eric James’ voice is reminiscent of Brandon Flowers’ reverb-ed keen, but happily, James experiments with his range. His melancholy lyrics offset danceable techno inspired beats which successfully keep the gritty, slightly uncomfortable flavor consistent. Two of the highlights are the intro “Winter Waltz” and the last song “Barefoot Winter Waltz” both of which prick the ears with sharp grating glitches before James’ emotive voice croons dreamy lyrics that sooth the sting. 2013 prediction: it’s only a matter of time before they rocket to stardom. - OWL Mag

"TLR on Pop-stache"

Pop'stache - "Some bands fit a certain mold and are comparable to any given band from a specific genre. Some bands break molds and stereotypes. Then, there are bands that just make music. On its debut release, Twistification, The Last Royals solidify itself as the latter."
- Pop-stache


Brooklyn duo The Last Royals, the project of writer/singer/producer Eric James and drummer Mason Ingram, formed a few years back and have been working on their debut album since 2011 with producer Mike Beck. Although the full-length, Twistification, won’t be released until January, the band will offer-up a three-song teaser EP on October 2 via Ooh La La Records. “Only the Brave" is a pop-tinged rocker that pairs indie aesthetics with a hook-laden melody – great for fans of The Killers and Walk The Moon. - RCRDLBL

"Alt-Nation TOP-18 (6 consecutive weeks); top 10 for 6 weeks; 2 weeks at #4."

"Crystal Vases" on Alt-Nation Top-18 Countdown for 14 consecutive weeks, top 10 for last 6 weeks, and currently #5 as of July 15, 2011. - Sirius-XM Alt-Nation

"“Crystal Vases has perfect groove and catchiness for radio” (Ride The Tempo)"

The Last Royals is writer/singer/producer Eric James and drummer Mason Ingram based in Brooklyn. The EP contains final versions of 4 songs that Eric recorded by himself in a self-project called A Week and a Day, named after the fact he wrote 8 songs in 8 days.
1. Backseat Lovers
2. Crystal Vases
3. Always, To Belong
4. Come Take My Hand (Demo)
5. Backseat Lovers (Crayon Remix)
The EP is an alternative rock, almost punk sort of vibe that introduces itself in Backseat Lovers. It’s a pretty dirty song in disguise (well not really disguised), “losing your touch on the bathroom floor”. There’s a lose Rock n Roll groove, full of sexual imagery. I wonder what they are “counting” in the chorus. I think something dirty. You even get a little subtle panting here and there.
Crystal Vases has a little bit of a pop-punk sort of undertone. Here Eric introduces the crystal vase as a metaphor for love and life and how fragile it can be. It has a perfect groove and catchiness that would be successful in commercial radio.
Always, to Belong is the more orchestral track off the album. Every time I listen to this track I fall in love with something different; the beautiful piano lick, the “dadadada” in the background that in the end becomes part of the main vocals. For a demo track, Come Take My Hand sounds pretty polished. It’s not as catchy and interesting as the rest of the EP but has the same sort of hook chorus appeal.
The last track seems like it should be a remix of the first track, but actually it sounds nothing at all like the first track. It’s a completely separate interpretation. “Remix” is taken quite loosely, it’s slower than the original and was a very different way to wrap up the EP.
The 5 track EP took no time to listen to and I found myself playing it again and again. It’s also one of those EP’s that I wish I could get on vinyl, because I bet it would be an awesome sounding spin. - Ride The Temp

"“catchy and full of hooks” (Between Thought & Expression)"

Unbelievable by The Last Royals (originally by EMF). It's hard to pin down exactly, but I get a vibe of The Cure in this cover. I've mentioned before that I particularly enjoy listening to duos, to see how they overcome the limitations caused by the lack of band numbers. These New Yorkers do it by making their music catchy and full of hooks. - Between Though & Expression

"“Combining indie and pop, they create unique songs with an upbeat feel.” (Oh So Fresh!)"

The Last Royals comprise of Eric James (vocals, synth, guitar) and Mason Ingram (drums, percussion, samples). The guys came together in Spring 2010 and since have gone to release their first EP on Ooh La La Records. Combining indie and pop, they create some unique songs with an upbeat feel.

The duo from New York, besides being catchy, do it all on their EP. While most of the songs on their EP were going to be for Eric's solo project, he saved it and reworked some for this project. The Last Royals are true musicians and are worth checking out. Listen to their song Crystal Vases below. - Oh So Fresh!

"“Stark contrast between upbeat, danceable music and dark lyrics — a style choice made specifically to embody life in New York City” (Static Multimedia)"

Eric James and Mason Ingram came together in the Spring of 2010 to form The Last Royals. Now they have recorded their first EP, The Last Royals EP, and it is scheduled to release on November 16. The Last Royals EP creates a stark contrast between upbeat, danceable music and dark lyrics — a style choice made specifically to embody life in New York City. Here James explains the inspiration behind The Last Royals, and his efforts to keep royalty alive in a city like New York.
Let’s start at the beginning; how did you two meet?
We met through mutual friends — it’s been about a year and a half since we started. We met while working on an anti-sex-trafficking album, and he was recommended by mutual friends. We just started out in the studio.
How did you come up with your band’s name, and what does it mean?
I wanted something both kind of epic and tongue-in-cheek. A lot of my songs revolve around issues of great ideas, but I myself am just a working-class songwriter. New York is a place of excess and wealth, and my experience with those people is that there is nothing classy about it anymore. The old people had royalty and money, but they still had an air of integrity about them. I want to sing about kingly things, but I might be a dying breed.
How long did it take to record your EP?
We did the tracking for our full-length album in about three weeks. The EP is five songs from the full-length.
What were your inspirations for the EP?
Our album and EP are born out of life in New York. I’ve been dying since I started playing guitar to learn how to play something with a groove. This album is me exploring how I can start to incorporate those things into my music. I taught myself how to write stuff that moves. The inspiration behind the music is that I wanted it to be danceable and fun, while the reality of the lyrical content is that it’s kind of dark.
There is a music video on your Myspace, “The Crayon Remix of Backseat Lovers.” Where did you get the idea for the video from?

I made it with a digital camera. I just wanted something visual, I wanted a video, but I didn’t have any money at all. After I recorded that version, I found an old air organ at the thrift store — you can hear that at the beginning of the video.

Do you have a favorite track on the EP? If so, which one?
My favorite song is “Come Take My Hand,” that’s on there, right? The lyrical content of that one is a poem or story with very royal references in it, with lyrics like “I’ll be your king and you’ll be my queen.” A Jane Austen-esque ballroom is the imagery behind the song. It’s the prettiest one on the record.
Which song is your favorite to perform? Why?
“Crystal Vases,” because it’s a guitar song and it’s a blast. It’s a big, fat, middle finger sort of song.

Are there any plans for an upcoming tour?
We are working on a late January tour of the UK and a series of festivals.
What are your other plans for the future? Where would you like to see The Last Royals go?
I made this record with the intentions of doing two more records with this current label. I’m already writing for the next record. The next one will be more guitar driven and more introspective. I’d rather be known as the crazy songwriter than some stage performer. Overall, I’d like to put out a series of records with phenomenal pop songs.

How would you describe The Last Royals to someone who has never heard your music before?
Other reviews have described us in a way that I liked: “urban walking music,” or “fuzzed-out du-op.”

Any final thoughts?
I’m thrilled to be doing this. It’s a dream in this day and age to make a living doing music. I don’t take it lightly, and I hope to create something awesome for people who like music.
Be sure to check out The Last Royals EP on November 16. You can watch the video for “Backseat Lovers (Crayon Remix)” below. - Static Multimedia

"“Super bouncy indie pop” (Future Sounds)"

Was just recently tipped off about New York’s THE LAST ROYALS, and we’ve made up for lost time pretty quickly. Turns out, they are also playing one of our CMJ parties (announcements coming soon) and we’ve been digging this groove, “Crystal Vases” quite a bit. The Royals are a duo, Eric James and Mason Ingram,and they make super bouncy indie pop!

SONG OF THE DAY: The Last Royals “Crystal Vases“ - Future Sounds

"”Energetic, electro-pop songs that coincide with the most bittersweet sentiments...danceable beats, melodic-vocals and wistful words for your listening enjoyment.” (The Owl Magazine)"

Look out for NYC band The Last Royals debuting their self-titled EP on Ooh La La Records this week. The band gave us a two-track sampler and even though writer/singer/producer Eric James and drummer Mason Ingram have only been working together since the spring, they have crafted a collection of energetic, electro-pop songs that coincide with the most bittersweet sentiments. The hip shakers were originally penned for James’ prior solo project The Early Hours and were self-released on an album called A Week And A Day. Reviving and recreating these tracks, The Last Royals bring danceable beats, melodic-vocals and wistful words for your listening enjoyment. - The Owl Magazine

"“Pop music near the summit of Mount Perfection.” (The Ripple Effect)"

The Last Royals - Crystal Vases b/w Backseat Lovers

It’s sad, but my very profitable work as genealogist for the two royal families of New York may quickly be coming to an end. You see dear waveriders, at the moment the future of these two grand bloodlines is in serious jeopardy. Only one young man from each family is left to carry on each esteemed line. In a bold stroke of luck for this writer the two men in question, Eric James and Mason Ingram, have decided to join forces in a musical venture appropriately titled The Last Royals. I sincerely hope this title is in jest. I’m not well suited for any other profession.

Now let’s talk about this musical venture, shall we? These two debut singles taken from a recently released EP represent pop music near the summit of Mount Perfection. Seriously, these songs are extraordinary! The Last Royals describe themselves as ‘urban walking music’. If that is true, you should expect to see people in downtown cityscapes either happily skipping along or walking at a quickened pace while undulating wildly. I know that is how I would be transporting myself while under the influence of that soundtrack!

“Crystal Vases” is the first song on offer. The vocals tell a bittersweet tale of a man admiring a vase that has survived a bad break up and now functions as an ashtray. Would you think a song concerning this topic would be depressing? While that is certainly a reasonable assumption, the music played behind this sullen tale makes it strangely jovial and celebratory. The song is very well structured. It gradually builds itself up from a humble guitar/vocal start, crescendos with added instrumentation to the chorus, then brings the energy level back down in order to build once again to the finish. And then there is “Backseat Lovers”. This synthesizer driven monster will have you bouncing off the walls! I’m reminded of Cake at their funkiest. The highest compliment I can pay The Last Royals is that after listening to these songs repeatedly, I’m most upset that I can’t have the instant gratification of immediately hearing more of their music. Download these songs now!

Download Link - - The Ripple Effect

"“the melodies are bouncy and the energy is at full tilt” (The Wounded Jukebox)"

When last we checked in with Ooh La La Recordings, it was to give you a taste of the wonderful Pittsburgh band 1,2,3. The label’s newest project is New York duo The Last Royals, and once again the melodies are bouncy and the energy is at full tilt.

The reverbed-out, fuzzy keyboards and jangly guitar of “Backseat Lovers” nearly gloss over the rather jaded and heartbroken lyrics. It’s a tale of how fake and fleeting love in the big city can be, and yet it’s done with such soul and charisma that it’s impossible not to nod your head and tap your toe along with the music.

The Last Royals’ EP was released late last year. You can download “Backseat Lovers” below and stream “Crystal Vases” — another indie-pop gem — as well. - The Wounded Jukebox

"“Electro pop (shades of Gorillaz) cynical tales of living in a world of concrete and steel.” (Berkley Place)"

Coming out of New York, The Last Royals have released an urban pop EP–by which I mean that the songs remind the listener of the city. Not that they’re rap. Far from it. It’s electro pop (shades of Gorillaz) cynical tales of living in a world of concrete and steel. “Ask anyone in a falling elevator: ‘Does the steel and the glass make it clear?’” Lovers have “walls that come between” them. The songs are about the heartlessness of structure, and the need for love. They’re on Brooklyn’s own Ooh La La records (shout out to the hood!). - Berkley Place

"“A sense of Brooklyn catchy as ever” (Cover Me Songs)"

In terms of ’90s classics that everyone made up the words for until the chorus came around, there are few that rival EMF’s “Unbelievable.” The new cover by The Last Royals, though, offers crisp delivery so you can actually understand lyrics beyond “you’re unbelievable”.

Being able to comprehend the words isn’t the only difference here, however. The Last Royals appropriately deliver much more of a sense of Brooklyn 2011 than Gloucestershire 1990. Despite the slowdown necessitated by the lyrical clarity, the song is just as catchy as ever. The band forgoes the original’s forty seconds of electric guitar at the end for a beautiful minute-plus of chilling out that polishes off the song. There is something to be said for capturing the early ’90s and The Last Royals do so in a way that is indeed unbelievable. - Cover Me Songs

"“The lyrics are phenomenal, the production is a blast and grows into something glorious.” (Dyson Sound)"

Eric James and Mason Ingram have come together to form a group releasing their debut self titled EP The Last Royals on Ooh La La Records. It’s not an ambitious undertaking like something Sufjan Stevens would take on. But does that make it any less important? Not at all.

This 5 song EP is a blast to listen to. With 4 originals and a remix, the guys in The Last Royals (audio warning on click) have taken the word (or letters) EP to heart.

The songs that appear on this EP were re-imagined from some tracks originally set to be released on an album of eight tracks called A Week And A Day. That album was written by Eric James in eight days and each track was to represent each day of the week. (plus an additional day apparently)

The 4 originals that appear on The Last Royals were fully brought to life in Brooklyn’s Headgear Studios in July 2010. These are the recordings you hear on the EP.

Have a listen to ‘Crystal Vases’ to get a sense of what The Last Royals are all about. The lyrics are phenomenal, the production is a blast and grows into something glorious. This is the true making a non-pop pop track. - Syson Sound

"“A tour-de-force, a knockout punch in the world of three-minute indie pop” (AbsolutePunk)"

The Last Royals are a New York City-based duo comprised of Eric James and Mason Ingram. James is the principal songwriter and vocalist while Ingram serves as the multi-instrumentalist. The Last Royals EP is the first under their new moniker. The band was previously known as The Early Hours. Prior to The Early Hours, James was a solo singer-songwriter based out of Philadelphia writing commercial pop-rock a la Matt Nathanson. The Last Royals veers towards something decidedly more indie and ruminative. Less commercial, more brainy, but still accessible enough to warrant widespread attention and acclaim.

How is it?
Um, amazing. There's a reason James has a winning reputation among the likes of bands such as Lovedrug, Farewell Flight and others. The Last Royals EP is a tour-de-force, a knockout punch in the world of three-mintue indie pop. The disc opens with "Backseat Lovers," a piano-based slab of fizzy, lo-fi pop. There's definitely a hip-shaking element as James sings, "All your life has been a crying shame, nobody's gonna know your name, and we all want someone to love." The band swaggers forward on the should-be single 'Crystal Vases," a chirpy paean to a failed relationship replete with jangly guitars, handclaps, self-defeat and James' inherent charisma. If his charm on "Backseat Lovers," wasn't enough to win you over, then by the end of "Crystal Vases," he most assuredly has. Quite honestly, there are few songs as potent, splashy or catchy as "Crystal Vases." In under four minutes, he has done more with one song then some bands will spend lifetimes trying to find.

Therein lies the genius of The Last Royals. As if it were effortless, something he was born to do, James just emanates radiance, confidence and exuberance. Proof positive of this is successive track, "Always, To Belong," a tender, introspective and age-old piano ballad that seems destined for movie soundtracks and the denoument of many a TV series. "Come Take My Hand (demo)," follows and its another rousing success. More straightforward than any of its predecessors, "Come Take My Hand," is probably mere months away from crossing over into the mainstream and vaulting James and Ingram to cult-like status.

Hyperbole, maybe, but honestly, songwriters just don't write straightforward pop songs this terrific anymore. The EP ends with "Backseat Lovers (Crayon Remix)," an organ-laced variation of the original that quite honestly might be stronger than the original. For some reason James' spoken-word vocals have more potency with this organ-based rework. And then it ends, five songs, 19 minutes, and all of it nothing short of splendid. If this is just the beginning, then all of us music listeners are in for a real treat. The Last Royals are going to make a dent and this EP is the very proof of that. -


“The perfect soundtrack to get you in the mood for the first day of Spring.” - Relevant...


"Indie-pop sort of sound reminiscent of the 60's - check out "Come Take My Hand"! -


Still working on that hot first release.



RCDLBL - Pop-tinged rocker that pairs indie aesthetics with a hook-laden melody great for fans of The Killers and Walk The Moon.
(ONLY THE BRAVE premier/download/review:

SPOTIFY - "Full of catchy pop melodies with a solid dose rock and roll. Turn it up here."

Diffuser.FM - "Pure pop goodness" (FRIDAY NIGHT premier/download/review:

Jeff Regan, (PD, SiriusXM) - "Halfway through the first listen, you'll find yourself singing along, its fun hipster pop!
(CRYSTAL VASES spent 5 consecutive months in Alt-Nation Top 18; sold 25k iTunes singles)

The Tune - "Stadium-sized pop-rock sound that is much too big to fit inside Brooklyn"

PASTE - "songs with narrative cohesion and an irresistible pop feel amidst decidedly rock undertones.

AbsolutePunk - A tour-de-force, a knockout punch in the world of three-minute indie pop

Berkley Place - Electro pop (shades of Gorillaz) cynical tales of living in a world of concrete and steel.

The Ripple Effect - Pop music near the summit of Mount Perfection.

The Owl Magazine - Think The Strokes meets The Killers meets Mumford & Sons. The sound is superbly balanced; rough yet catchy enough to allow The Last Royals to slip in and out of the mainstream with ease while maintaining a unique edge.