In the eight years since this band’s conception, the musicians of The Family Crest have created something striking in both its sophistication and accessibility. Although upon first glance the seven core members give the impression of a Mumford and Sons-like group of folk musicians, the band’s sound remains closer to its jazz and classical roots. While the vibe is fueled by themes of love and betrayal and dramatic string-driven transitions between slower and faster movements – story-telling strategies commonly associated with a folksy romanticism – in tracks like “Beneath the Brine,” The Family Crest explodes with a sound that strikes a chord different from that of pure indie folk. The group’s aesthetic is infused with the drama of an orchestra and the infectious rhythm of 20s jazz and swing, all without losing the accessible charm of the folk genre.
Their most recent album, Beneath the Brine, stays true to the band’s welcoming character by presenting an element of grounded familiarity accompanied by the excitement of talented minds creating together. The listener senses that it’s something they may have heard before, but never like this. Approximately 80 “Extended Family” members are credited with helping to produce Beneath the Brine making it clear that The Family Crest strives to bring together intimate musical communities. This album was recorded in coffee shops and living rooms throughout the West Coast. Beneath the Brine beckons the audience to lean in, take part, and be moved by this ambitious band’s earnest, bowtie-clad flair.
Check out “Beneath the Brine,” the title track from the group’s fourth official album, and come see the seven core members perform at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia on July 18.