Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN

Familia's musical styles combine to create a truly original and eclectic sound. Mixing catchy pop melodies with gospel and blues emotion they will leave you hopeful in these troublesome times.


Music is the primary fuel of insurrection.

Virtually every revolutionary movement in music has been the direct result of an artistic dissatisfaction with the current state; the predictable “norm” forcing square pegs into round holes and rendering the state of aural creativity little more than Pablum for the masses. Only when a band truly believes in their craft, their vision and their ability to push that message without the assistance of set parameters does music truly benefit, blossom and boom.

Familia is one band proud to be a set of square pegs. Comprised of vocalist/keyboardist Tamara Umlah, bassist Dwight Abell, drummer/vocalist Cody Hiles and guitarist/keyboardist Bronson Izzard, this Maple Ridge/Vancouver, B.C.-based outfit is utilizing their vast rock-based attack to replace the current constraints of modern music with a set of their own honourable and inimitable principles.

“Nowadays, the idea of what a rebel is has been lost,” asserts Umlah. “Being a rebel has become the norm. People try so hard to bring shock value to the world that it just becomes noise. Is that a rebel or is it someone who goes against what everybody's doing; stands up for something? We don't want to be rebels because it's 'cool.' We want to do what's right which is always the harder path to follow. We promote freedom from trying to fit in because being honest, true and not losing sight of that is what this band is dedicated to.”

Asserting those fundamental ethics on independent debut full-length Golden Lies, Familia's inherently distinct sound is the result of four disparate foundations unified by a goal to create uncompromising rock replete with imagination, fortitude and dynamic destiny.

Meeting during rehearsals for a jazz ensemble many moons ago, Familia evolved into its incarnation with Umlah's incorporation as front woman in 2005. Finding common ground between some of music's most authoritative legends, their matchless sound comes from years of inspiration gleaned via pop/rock, gospel and soul music's greatest inventors. Hammering those influences into an inherently unique approach, the likes of Al Green rubs elbows with riff-based rock such as Queens Of The Stone Age and Led Zeppelin, hook-laden harmonious rock as per The Beatles, Radiohead and Oasis as well as pelvic, instinctual grinders including Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jimi Hendrix.

Culminating in a grandiose, communicable sound, Golden Lies is a commanding, singular experience unto itself. Captured by producer Jon Anderson (Stabilo), upon its release, the album's exceptional quality found Familia invited to partake in the 2009 PEAK Performance Project, a songwriting career development competition open only to B.C.'s 20 most revered artists each year. As a result, the accomplishment catapulted the band into Canada's greater conscious.

At that, as Umlah asserts, Familia's primary objective as a band is to bring another aspect into common reasoning: the importance of autonomous value. Seeing an onslaught of devalued self-worth, insecurity and peer pressure overtaking many, the band endeavours to alter such deprecation through their lyrics. Weaving themes of positivity and the importance of personal satisfaction throughout their songs, Umlah is hopeful Familia's name and vision blossom beyond its four carriers.

“We know what's in our heart and every day we learn how to communicate that better. We're deeply spiritual and what we're trying to say comes before the music. That's the vehicle to promote the ideas we have: love, giving people hope and bringing light and truth into those dark places we all have.”

“This band wants to inspire people to be who they want to be and who they know they're supposed to be,” she continues. “Familia is about an emotional connection on levels where it makes them think or wonder outside of everyday life. This is an escape to what's real. There's more to life and we deliver it through pop-based music.”

Liberated by dichotomous elements such as humility and self-confidence, Familia is one of few bands who are truly comfortable with who they are and what they intend to deliver: extraordinary, empowering rock bolstered by positive self-image and individualism. Currently working on a highly-anticipated sophomore release, the quartet is proud of Golden Lies' achievements but are anxious to bring their name—and message—to greater heights.

“Familia is Latin for family and that's what we strive to be,” Umlah concludes. “We want to incorporate family values into music without compromising, a goal that we feel is rather rebellious these days when everyone is trying to outdo one another. What really matters are relationships and feeling confident with yourself. Bands have a pressure to succumb to glory but we're grounded. We cherish our relationships with friends, family and fans. It's what keeps us real, honest and true...a family.”


Golden Lies (debut album)
recommended tracks:
#5-Safe and Sound

Set List

1)Out of my Head
2)Oh Wretched Man
3)Golden Lies
4)Cripple Crow
5)Safe and Sound
6)Love Jungle
9)Kinda Like a Mess
12)Cellar Door

Our set times usually run for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

We have covered On Call by Kings of Leon, Crazy by Gnarls Barkley, Hit the Road Jack by Ray Charles, Another One Bites the Dust by Queen.