Family Band - Grace and Lies
Record Label: No Quarter Records
Release Date: July 24, 2012
"Again," the lead single from husband/wife duo Family Band's album Grace and Lies is a measured, delicate and deeply affecting slice of dream pop. Gauzy and lilting, the song is a definite head-turner and the arrival of a major player in the overcrowded Manhattan indie rock scene. But "Again," is far from the album's only winning effort. Album opener "Night Song," is luminescent, swirly and dream-like.
"Lace," is a more urgent and uptempo affair, in which jittery guitars partner well with Kim Krans' alto vocals. The languorous "Moonbeams," is arguably one of the year's best songs and easily Grace and Lies' first true apex moment. Though its decidedly downtempo and borders on balladry, there's something deeply inspired about the entire thing that is both deeply impacting and even harder to forget.
A modest acoustic guitar opens "Ride," a fragile and weathered tale that's as panged and tortured as anything released this year. That sense of fatigue and anguish cannot be feigned or forced and that it is as strong as it is, is only a testament to the band's inherent talents. Acoustic guitar opens on "Your Name," another placid and intimate affair in which Krans once again takes center stage. But it is at this point one sort of feels like Family Band is more or less veering more towards the Kim Krans Show.
That sentiment is mildly erased on the atmospheric title track, which revisits much of the same sentiments and sonic details as the opener but probes a little deeper. As one might expect it is nonetheless a success and another notch on the belt of a band that does very little wrong. Grace and Lies' penultimate offering is "Keeper," which features spindly guitars and twinkly atmospherics. The disc ends with the near eight-minute epic "Rest," which predictably rises, swells and crests and truly lets the band's collective merits shine. For the first time, Family Band actually sounds like a cohesive effort.
That little point should not be overlooked however. Grace and Lies is a terrific disc and the signal of a strong new talent, but far too often the entire effort feels like a solo album and a vessel to showcase Krans' alto voice. Hopefully on the next effort, there's a bit more kinesis and a bit more bite.