Can I be part of the family?

Wild and free is fine, so long as you're warm

Wild and free is fine, so long as you're warm

Even though the new Akron/Family album has been out since the beginning of May, I’ve held off on commentary. Not because I dislike the band or the album, but because of the brain-bending effort it takes to describe this band to unfamiliar listeners. But I feel the need to break the silence now. It is my duty as a quasi-writer and an American.

Kinda experimental folk-ish stuff?

Does that help?

I’m hindered in this matter because I was pretty unfamiliar with their work prior to the latest LP, Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free. I know that the group recently became a trio, and that the three members are tirelessly traversing three continents on tour this summer. And I know that I wish I was tagging along in a handbag or something comfortable because the stops in multiple Italian and Japanese cities sound amazing. Yes, I would voluntary submit myself to the same transportation options typically enjoyed by used Kleenex wads and little rat dogs. It would be worth it to be a fly on the wall for a firsthand Akron/Family experience. Maybe the boys in the band cook up their own genre names to explain their sound to casually drop into interviews! Plus, they share a label with John Vanderslice and will be playing with him during the Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco this August, so the bag-sized accommodations are not without perks.

But the main reason I would subject myself to a duffel bag is because, gathered from whichever boundary-bleeding song I hear, I think the band would make the experience a pleasant one and hopefully let me use a human toilet during pit stops. On this album, there’s lots of warm guitars strumming out broken chords and friendly voices that soften the edges of any activity you happen to be doing. But before you think you know what the music will do, they throw in a tightly produced purr of a song like “Creatures.” Then tracks like “Many Ghosts” just transcend any description beyond “really damn good.” The overall effect is compelling both for its inventiveness as well how welcoming the sound is. If you have a chance to catch Akron/Family in the gorgeous coliseum in Verona this June (handbag optional), you better do it.

  • Akron/Family ~ Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free ~ Dead Oceans

Creatures

Many Ghosts

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