Family Of The Year - free live performance
Tuesday, February 26th 6:00 PM
Most bands function like a family, seeing how touring, writing, and studio time force them to share a lot of small spaces for extended periods of time. But Family of the Year has taken that familial feeling a step further, and not just with its moniker. The members of the Los Angeles outfit have formed unbreakable bonds amongst themselves that come from cohabitating in a run-down house and relying on each other for inspiration and support, which has led to the kind of camaraderie that allows members to finish each other’s sentences. It also doesn’t hurt that frontman Joe Keefe and drummer Sebastian Keefe are real-life siblings.
Family of the Year’s story began in 2009, when Joe assembled a band around an album, Songbook, that he completed while decompressing from a five-year stint with Unbusted, the alt-rock trio he started in Boston with Sebastian that gained some notoriety for its inclusion on the soundtrack to the Farrelly brothers’ film Stuck On You. Instead of relying on the distortion of his past, now pianos, horns, acoustic guitars, and other assorted instrumentation are used to display a more sophisticated—yet equally as playful—indie-rock sound that brings to mind classic pop bands like The Smiths, The Byrds, Fleetwood Mac, and The Go-Betweens.
With their latest release, Loma Vista, Family of the Year has positioned itself for greatness. The album is a lively slice of indie, dance- and psych-rock. Most songs highlight the perennial backdrop of California sunbeams – “St. Croix” is a dreamy tune about “a boy from Florida / took a trip to the Caribbean … he came to get over her,” (and yes, it’s about Jamesy), the strummy, 5-part harmonic “Stairs” and propulsive keyboard-laden “Diversity” are lovely servings of the band’s signature exuberance. But, don’t be misguided in thinking the band is only about cheerful, jangly tunes. Family Of The Year opens the album up to down-tempo tracks that ache a little and leave sepia-filtered images in your mind – e.g. “Hero” and “Hey Ma.”
Family of the Year’s future is clearly a bright one. Playing every show like it’s a special occasion and writing each song with complete conviction has allowed the band to accomplish everything it has set its sights on. As “Living On Love” notes, “they say that you can’t get every little thing that you want … it’s such a lie.”