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Social Studies Drops First Album, Plays Rickshaw Stop

It all started when a girl trained as a classical pianist, raised on a commune in rural Oregon, met a boy bred on the Chicago punk scene. Social Studies—composed of Natalia Rogovin, Michael Jirkovsky, Jesse Hudson and Tom Smith—has been making the rounds on the Bay Area indie pop scene since 2006. But what separates the band from the indistinguishable masses is its ability to craft complex, intelligent songs. Social Studies’ first full-length album, Wind Up Wooden Heart (Antenna Farm Records)—a coming-of-age tale featuring cameos by Bright Eyes and Thee More Shallows—drops July 27, with a CD release party scheduled for Aug. 7 at the Rickshaw Stop. Listen once and be mesmerized by catchy hooks and mellifluous choruses. Revisit it and you’ll find lyrics that strike chords of nostalgia, regret, renewal and joy. From the grand marching-band entrance of “Charioteers” to the quiet, music-box melody of “Pile of Words,” you’ll be hooked.