Release Date: Jul 10, 2012
Record label: Nettwerk
Hailing from LA (reference to being “sun-drenched” in the biog? Tick!) Family Of The Year appear to have heard Fixers coming on like an acidtronic modern day Beach Boys, gone “Piss off, you Home Counties inlanders you, that shit’s ours!”, laced it with LA’s burgeoning nous for epic pop and made a bright and startling debut that’s somehow come out like Fleet Foxes with more than just a face for radio. Melodies bristle, harmonies surge, hooks fly dense as bullets in The Raid and Joe Keefe’s lush stoner vocals trace out stories of neighbour-annoying hedonism (‘The Stairs’), missing home (‘Hey Ma’) and boozing and rocking all the way to the afterlife (‘Buried’). Fun-drenched.[i]Mark Beaumont[/i] .
With musical trends changing so often, it must be tough to be an up-and-coming band these days. When an artist gets signed and heads into the studio, there's a possibility that their chosen "style" of music will have become passé by the time the album reaches the shops (there's a reason why passing musical fads are referred to as "flavors of the week"). While this has been a common occurrence in the music business for decades, nobody seems to learn anything from the process, and music fans are left to wade through thousands of releases per month in search of something that they can connect with.
Remember in That Thing You Do when the one-hit Wonders dress up like sailors for their Hollywood debut? As guitarist Lenny Haise says, “We’re not The Wonders right now, we’re Cap’n Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters.” Well, the video for Californian outfit Family of the Year’s beachy “St. Croix” (“You bring the ocean/ I’ll bring the motion”) is straight out of that scene. Instead of being poor sports like The Wonders’ resident diva, however, frontman Joseph Keefe said of the finished product, “It’s probably the goofiest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” apparently having a blast as per usual.
A word-of-mouth debut LP that’ll make perfect sense when the situation suits. Ian Wade 2012 Family of the Year aren’t anything to do with an arbitrary award shoved at a celebrity to congratulate them for raising a child or two, but are in fact a Los Angeles-based quartet comprising Welsh-born brothers Joe and Sebastian Keefe (guitar and drums respectively), James Buckey (guitar) and Christina Schroeter (keyboards). They lived in a one-bedroom apartment during this second album’s recording, which takes its title from the street they made it on.
If there is one thing that Family Of The Year do well, it’s penning a decent song about the summer. Based on the four-piece’s second long-player, they clearly favour the glass being half full rather than half empty. ‘Loma Vista’, which comes three years after debut ‘Songbook’ hit the UK, is unashamedly pre-occupied on the highs of life, and is a piece of work firmly rooted in the familiar surroundings of summery indie-pop.Comprising of brothers Joe and Sebastian Keefe, James Buckey and completed by Christina Schroeter, the band aren’t shy when it comes to their melodies.