Word spread like wildfire that Family of the Year, the LA-based indie/folk rock quartet were to perform a FREE show in celebration of the release of their latest album, Loma Vista. Much like their sold out show the night before at the Bootleg Theater, a curiously long line spilled out from the cramped music store.
“… If we sell all their records tonight, the band has agreed they will all strip down naked just like in their music video!”
On any given day, you may have driven right past Hi Fidelity Records on Hillhurst, nestled right next to the popular Los Feliz joint, Lucifer pizza. But not today!
Rare and beloved vinyl gems like Father Tom Vaughn’s Cornbread (Meat Loaf, Greens and Deviled Eggs) and Megadeath’s So Far, So Good, So What added pops of color to the stark white, brightly lit aisles of the record shop, while lively fans filled in. People festively toasted their complimentary whiskey (thanks to the sponsor Bushmills and record label Nettwerk), rummaged through albums, discussed their Family of the Year experiences and enjoyed the music thumping in the background.
All this while, at the very back of the store, atop a gleaming stage made of blonde wood, sat the band’s instruments. Painted on the bass drum were the words “Family of the Year” in sparkling glitter, foreshadowing their show’s impending magic.
Proving that indie/folk rock is definitely on the rise, the young quartet took the stage and proceeded to blow minds and stereotypes amidst audience roars. People danced. People listened. But nary a word was uttered during the performance.
Consisting of two brothers and long-time roommates, all four band members harmonized and gelled like true family, interacting with each other during the set, radiating a positive energy the crowd could feel.
At first listen, one wouldn’t think such a handsome group of rebel-rousers featuring bouncy tunes and dance-worthy rhythms would have content enough to make you pay attention. But, their Deathcab for Cutie meets Mumford & Son-esque song, “Buried” with lyrics like, “If nothing ever changes, I’ll be happier than hell in hell, waiting for my friends and family”, quickly prove otherwise. Crossing into a more sobering and introspective tone, their song, “Hero” conveyed as much melodrama, frustration and passion as a Johnny Cash song with lyrics like, “Let me go, I don’t want to be your hero, I don’t wanna be a big man, just wanna fight like everyone else”.
Though they only played a five song set and ended the night with their clothes still intact, the album release party was cleverly crafted enough to get you jonesin’ for more great things from Family of the Year.
Their new album, Loma Vista in stores now.
Living on Love
Photos by Shareef Ellis