It’s not surprising that a band like Department of Eagles would do a singularly unusual thing in releasing an “archive” covering three years of their time together and the making of a record that never existed. After Daniel Rossen and Fred Nicolaus released their 2003 debut, The Cold Nose, and before record number two, 2008’s In Ear Park, was recorded, they spent a few years working on what was meant to be their sophomore effort. This collection reflects the starts and stops of that project, but also now effectively resides in their chronology as album number three. The duo’s ear for original yet vaguely familiar melodies and instrumental flourishes (a little Beatles here, a dash of Beach Boys there, a whiff of Grizzly Bear — Rossen’s other band — everywhere) was clearly in bloom, with tracks like “While We’re Young” and “Brightest Minds” radiant and dazzling with lovingly layered vocals, echoing percussion, twinkling guitars and banjos. Sprinkled throughout are “practice room sketches,” featuring clinking pianos, twittering birds, and choral limbering. Archive is an intriguing look back at a couple of college students finding their musical legs. We give ‘em an A.