Family Band "Grace & Lies"

Highly recommended.

Ok, so this is not one to go to when your looking for some sunshine to lift your spirits, it pins the melancholy meter pretty much throughout. It is, however, beautifully written and played with gentle, soulful passion. I was not familiar with Family Band until I came across this review on Pitchfork a few weeks back. This album has been a favorite since. If your a fan of dark, folky, emotional's one to give a spin.

Ironically, I was sending this recommendation to a friend this morning and noticed that Scott Hirsch played lap steel and bass on it. He's also multi-instrumentalist on Hiss Golden Messenger's "Poor Moon" album which remains my favorite release of the year.

BTW, I think we need a new music recommendation thread. I know there are a couple of "Best Rock..." etc but nothing just to throw out stuff we come across we'd like to recommend.

Anyway, hope some of you enjoy this one too. I'm going to do a little digging and see what else they have out there.

So I forgot to post the link:)

Also came across some free downloads on their Bandcamp page:

You can select flac before the download begins, if you don't
it defaults to 320.

More info about the album from the label, No Quarter:

Grace and Lies. On the surface, the two concepts couldn't
seem more different. One of them restores, the other ruins.
One of them forgives, the other deceives. But to hear Kim
Krans, frontwoman for Family Band, tell it, the two aren't
opposed -- they're intertwined. "Grace and Lies are two
characters I envisioned last summer," she says, by way of
explaining the haunting title track on the group's second
record. "I couldn't get them out of my head. I saw them in a
field behind our cabin, singing and slow dancing -- like
ghosts, sort of. They're the rulers of beauty and false
promises. And we all fall for them from time to time."

And therein lies the beautiful dichotomy of Family Band. A
collaboration between visual-artist-turned-singer Kim Krans
and her husband, onetime heavy-metal guitarist Jonny Ollsin
(Children, S.T.R.E.E.T.S.), the merging of the couple's
sensibilities makes for music that's simultaneously elegant
and visceral. Their songs are as stark as bare trees in
winter, Krans' baleful alto swooping mournfully over
Ollsin's glimmering guitar like a black crow against a grey
sky. As its title implies Grace & Lies is equal parts light
and shadow, evoking the mystery and terror of early Cat
Power, the ghostly aura of Warpaint, with whom Family Band
toured in 2011, and the hushed longing of prime-era Cowboy
Junkies. Though they explored similar territory -- both
sonically and lyrically -- on their self-released debut,
Miller Path, on Grace their canvas is wider -- the greys
lusher, the blacks deeper. Assisted by bass and lapsteel
player Scott Hirsch (Hiss Golden Messenger), the couple has
made a record that boldly confronts life's darker questions.
"Miller Path was recorded mostly at our cabin upstate, while
Jonny was busy with his metal band and I was focused on my
visual arts career," Krans explains. "It was my first time
recording music and I didn't know how to steer the wheel. I
didn't even know what the wheel was. But with Grace & Lies,
we all decided what the overarching atmosphere and mood of
the record should be. I made big drawings of each song in
the control room, with all the parts and changes
illustrated, and we built those visions with sound."

That meticulous planning is evident throughout. "Night Song"
revolves around a single, dazzling guitar riff that spirals
like stars in the night sky; "Ride" builds steadily to an
ominous, spectacular finale, timpanis booming and guitars
gathering like storm clouds in a clear sky; and "Again,"
which boasts production and instrumental work by Dan Rossen
of Grizzly Bear, surges forward -- a roaring river beneath a
sheet of ice. Grace & Lies is a document of a band staring
down life's larger riddles -- love, death, loss and deceit.

Despite its dark subject matter, Grace is the product of a
band coming comfortably into their own. "I felt like I was
in a bliss period while making this record," Krans says. "I
knew just enough about the recording process to feel
empowered by it, but not so much that the technical aspects
could override my intuition." Nowhere is that ease more
apparent than in the gorgeous "Moonbeams," a steadily-
building number shot through with raw longing, capturing all
of love's profundity and uncertainty, its hymnlike refrain
offering a kind of conditional reassurance. "I wanted to
give people a song they could fucking weep to," Krans

But for all of its lyrical intensity, Grace & Lies never
feels oppressive or bleak. There is a current of beauty and
hope beneath its fragile, delicate songs that glimmers like
a gold coin at the bottom of a frozen pond. "It's a very
dark record, lyrically," Krans admits, "And there's lots of
heavy, brooding questions. But we've used an aesthetic veil
- grace, if you will -- in order to talk about these
things." And while Grace & Lies is not afraid to disappear
into shadow, in the end, it's about understanding and
growth. "In the end," Krans says, "This record is about
learning to rewrite your own myth."

In addition to playing music, Kim and Jonny run The Wild
Unknown, a renowned and celebrated company featuring Kim's
artwork, illustrations and beyond. This summer they will
host the 2nd annual Forest Party at their hand-built Miller
Path, just outside Delhi, New York.
Thanks Richard! Checked both of these out and ordered on the spot.

Family Band runs a little to Hope Sandoval Hypno Folk, eh?

I trust you know Jeese Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter, "Reckless Burning"? A space folk masterpiece.

Sorry to hear about your dog!


Thanks for the thoughtful words, John.

Yes, definitely some of that Hope Sandoval thing going on. I hear a lot of Cowboy Junkies, even a little Red House Painters in the music, not so much lyrically as this band is much stronger there. Although I love the groove of the Cowboy Junkies they were never the most brilliant songwriters:)

Glad you enjoyed too.
"Although I love the groove of the Cowboy Junkies they were never the most brilliant songwriters:)"

Really? Sorry Richard, I usually always agree with you, but not this time.

I did listen to samples of the Family Band. While I really didn't like "Grace & Lies", I did find "Miller Path" to be excellent and bought it. Thanks for the recommendation. I also agree that Hiss Golden Messenger is excellent and one of my new favorites.
Mofi....Of course that is just my opinion. After I wrote that I kinda thought it may not be a popular statement here. Oh well, guess that's why there is chocolate and vanilla !

"I usually always agree with you..." Oh my. Mofi, this should greatly concern you and your loved ones.
Okay, how about "almost" always agree with you.
Thanks for the heads up. They definately have a Mazzy Star vibe to them. I have been enjoying Tim"Too Slim" Langford's latest release "Broken Halo". Langford is the front man for Too slim and the Taildraggers which is a pretty racous Seattle based blues band. Broken Halo is an acoustic solo effort. If you like acoustic blues with dobro, steel guitar, and gravely voices, you will enjoy this. Check out the song "Three Chords".
That is interesting about CJ, Richard, given our considerable overlap. I'm with Mofi. I think CJ lyrics often genius (I'm esp. partial to the earlier stuff), all the more when you realize it is a man writing in a woman's voice.

If you like that (and I liked 2 out of 3 I downloaded; Cold Songs was a little too far out there) you may also like Low Anthem, a similar sound from, of all places, RI.
Is this available on vinyl? I have "We Walk This Road" and it is really, really good. Great production.
Just ordered it and the Too Slim recommendation above as well. Rarely get steered wrong here. Agree it's time for a "new music" thread, thx for getting it started.
Glad some others are enjoying this too.

I'll never say anything negative about the Cowboy Junkies (who I actually like!) again. Promise.

Swampkiller...Never could get The Low Anthem. Kinda pretty music but for me I could not find the soul in it. Still play it from time to time but nothing special for me.

Chopss...You've got the wrong band...or not really wrong but a different band than the one being discussed here. Just mentioning so you did not order this and get surprised.

I started a new thread for music recommendations. I'm sure it won't show up for a bit as it must clear through the unreasonable censorship but keep an eye out and post your new music finds for all.