What? Pushing Americana to its limits, dipping the genre's unraveled threads into sweeping psychedelia, classic rock, experimental jazz, and African music, these seemingly regular dudes from Williamsport, PA somehow manage a collected sound indebted to rootsy sentiment. And the band's latest album, Love is Simple, (out now) is a testament to their eclectic influence yet sleek interpretation; "Phenomena" swaps high-pitched vocals and acoustic plucks for thick, Tom Petty-like distorted guitars before peaking in a three-part chant and a lilting, melodious warble -- a Whitman's Sampler of music, all under the wing of Middle America.
Who? The Family consists of instrument-swapping core trio Seth Olinsky (vocals, guitars, percussion), Miles Seaton (vocals, bass, guitar, percussion) and Dana Janssen (drums, vocals, misc.), which expands to a seven-piece band when performing live. Original founding member Ryan Vanderhoof departed in 2007, reportedly to "live in a Buddhist Dharma center in the Midwest." Catch Akron/Family at Coachella's Gobi Stage on Saturday, April 26 8:40 - 9:30 P.M.
Fun Fact: On Akron/Family's eponymous debut, the boys utilize a few, ahem, unconventional instruments to construct their decidedly unique sound -- a creaking rocking chair and the white noise from a TV set.
Now Hear This: "Phenomena" (DOWNLOAD MP3)