INTERSECTIONS: Terrace Preview – Miracles of Modern Science

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By RACHEL KLEBANOV
Staff Writer

Miracles of Modern Science—name sound familiar? Probably! This band of Princeton alums–Evan Younger ’08, Josh Hirshfeld ’08, Kieran Ledwidge ’08, Geoff McDonald ’07, Tyler Pines ’09–formed in 2005 at our very own Princeton U with modest beginnings: playing at open mic nights, Café Viv, and of course, Terrace. And to Terrace they return to grace us with their outstanding musical presence once again.

I hadn’t heard much of MOMS until now, but I gotta say, I absolutely love their sound. It is bursting with energy, something that string instruments don’t always bring to the table. (They might be the male, indie-rock, less hair-whipping version of Bond). Hit the jump for more – 

Let me throw in some simple metaphors: if their songs were paintings, they would be brightly colored with thick slashes of paint. If their songs were foods, they would be bold and flavorful—maybe spicy. They exhibit a bright, youthful quality…the sophisticated excitement of a breezy night out in New York City with the bright lights and plethora of sounds.

Characteristics of their music include soulful vocals, warm cello, and coursing string harmonies that race through your entire body when you listen closely. Sometimes wild, sometimes more subdued. They prove to be a very versatile set of musicians, able to slightly change their sound from song to song and experiment with different styles. After listening to melodic, foot tapping, heart-racing “Eating Me Alive” and the funky, staccato, slightly sad “Bossa Supernova,” I was surprised to hear a more subdued, rustic, countryside sound that would accompany fresh air and grassy hills in “Don’t You See?” Visit their website to hear all these tracks.

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It’s hard to pinpoint a sound like theirs. However, MOMS does call to mind Ra Ra Riot for me—they meld the 80s new wave bass and drum and orchestral pop. A little bit of Beirut is in there as well: songs like “MOMS Away” exhibit the same bombastic sounds in their beginnings, while the baroque instrumentation, brisk strings, and build up to the chorus remind me of Arcade Fire. Overall, MoMS is a lot punchier and more explosive.

I found their covers to be especially interesting and indicative of their versatility. They cover songs from “She Drives Me Crazy” (Which I thought was phenomenal: a chiller, more melodic take on the 80s rock song) to “Call Me Maybe” (standout strings, making what I found to be a somewhat annoying song strangely beautiful.)

Perfect for a spring concert outdoors or any kind of smart casual hangout, Miracles of Modern Science is unique, lively, fun, and sophisticated all at once—I would listen to their music any day, anywhere. Check out the Daily Princetonian’s video interview with them from 2009, and come listen to them at Terrace tonight!

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