Family of the Year
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Family of the Year


Band Folk Americana




"IFC Premieres St. Croix"

The tight knit LA bunch, Family of the Year, deliver their Beach Boys inspired sing-along as a giddy make out session. I nominate the chorus, “You bring the ocean, I’ll bring the motion, together we’ll make a love potion,” to be the heavy petting rallying cry of the season.

“We didn’t want to be dramatic or make a video that had to be taken too seriously,” drummer Sebastian Keefe says of this throwback directed by Oscar nominated and Sundance winning filmmaker, Jessica Sanders. Keefe explained that the origin of the song was in their desire to poke fun at guitarist Jamesy Buckey’s upcoming trip to the Caribbean. “We wrote this song when Jamesy was looking forward to his trip to the Caribbean with some friends. Those friends weren’t us, so we wrote about what we thought should happen.”

Sounds like it doesn’t work out too poorly for Jamesy. - IFC

"Rolling Stone Covers St. Croix"

Los Angeles-based Family of the Year recently released their St. Croix EP to build hype for their next full-length album, set to be released early next year. The Hooray For Earth mix of title track "St. Croix" is intense and atmospheric, which might not be the vibe one would expect from a track named after a Caribbean island. Keyboardist and vocalist Christina Schroeter tells Rolling Stone why this track is so moody. "We wrote this song when Jamesy (our guitarist) was looking forward to his trip to the Caribbean with some friends. Those friends weren't us, so we wrote about what we thought should happen," she explains. "Let's just say the original lyrics to the chorus weren't quite as appropriate..." The St. Croix EP is already available, but you can download the "St. Croix (Hooray for Earth mix)" for free - Rolling Stone

"NME Gives Loma Vista 8 out of 10"

Hailing from LA (reference to being “sun-drenched” in the biog? Tick!) Family Of The Year appear to have heard Fixers coming on like an acidtronic modern day Beach Boys, gone “Piss off, you Home Counties inlanders you, that shit’s ours!”, laced it with LA’s burgeoning nous for epic pop and made a bright and startling debut that’s somehow come out like Fleet Foxes with more than just a face for radio. Melodies bristle, harmonies surge, hooks fly dense as bullets in The Raid and Joe Keefe’s lush stoner vocals trace out stories of neighbour-annoying hedonism (‘The Stairs’), missing home (‘Hey Ma’) and boozing and rocking all the way to the afterlife (‘Buried’). Fun-drenched.
Read more at - NME

"Exclusive: Family Of The Year Announce EP Release 411"

A lot of people like to ease into the weekend in a ritualistic way. By going out to T.G.I. Friday’s with the girls. By going out to Hooters with the guys.

Our Spidey sense tells us you’re probably not part of this crowd. Nor are we.

What excites us a hell of a lot more - the way we’d like to kick off every fin de semana - is with some exclusive news from a band we dig.

Since we have a feeling you’d be interested in the special IndiePit Blog news - you know, more so than a $2-off coupon for a José Cuervo margarita mixer or something - we’ll share the nuggets we just learned.

So there’s this neo-folk-rock band called Family of the Year, who live about two or three clicks away from us, in Silver Lake (L.A.’s equivalent of Brooklyn). Like a toasty mitten around a frosty hand, they give us warm comfort …

Wait, that metaphor is wholly inappropriate, given that we’re writing this in the sizzling Southern California summer.

They’re like an ice pack on a sunburned forehead.

Yeah, that works, right? Even if it implies something totally different?

We’re betting you can’t wait for us to get to the point. Lucky for you, in addition to breaking news, we’re also in the business of answering prayers.

So here it is: Family of the Year are going to put out their debut EP on September 22 through Washashore.

The brand-new quintet pride themselves - or joke on their MySpace profile, at least - on having “post-teen spirit” and being “influenced” by the likes of Chumbawumba, Barenaked Ladies and System of a Down. Since we’re not sure whether or not they’re yanking our chain, we’ll rope in what we consider a more apt comparison: a less druggy Fleetwood Mac, who we just nostalgically and shamelessly raved about earlier this week.

Make your own comparisons - hell, leave them in the comments below - or don’t, when you hear this downloadable MP3, “Summer Girl“:

As we also learned, Family of the Year just had a chat tonight about the title of and sequencing to the EP. With any luck, we’ll be announcing those details too.

Either way, Los Angelenos, mark your cals (that’s short for calendars): FOTY will be strumming up support for their divine release with two shows at the Hollywood Knitting Factory, on September 16 and 27.

"In the Player at IMF: Raveonettes, Family of the Year"

Seems as I’m throwing in a catchup post every 5 of so. Probably means I’m not posting frequently enough, but I’m pretty sure I’m just at the point where I can barely handle it. Maybe I need to tighten up the filter a bit? Maybe not. I ask this as I’m ready to tell you about 5 or so songs that you need to hear. Ready?

From the Ravonettes upcoming 4th LP comes the most optimistic sounding song about suicide I’ve ever heard. And it’s called Suicide, ‘a sugar-coated 60s-meets-shoegaze anthem’. The band are going from debuting songs on their Twitter page to touring North America until November, some dates with The Black Angels (dates here).

Since landing in my inbox, Bogie Ogreton has become Family of the Year. You might have heard them covering ‘Everyday’ by Buddy Holly in the trailer for Rachel Getting Married, even though I (like most) thought it was Rogue Wave. Check out No Good At Nothing.
- Indie Music Filter

"About the Song: [Bogie Ogreton - "No Good at Nothing"]"

Vanessa Jeanne Long to Recycled Love Songs on the track “No Good at Nothing“:

“I was sitting in that one position that’s completely derogatory towards Native Americans, on some sort of hideously awful matted red rug. He was a mime of sorts, the man that left it here I mean, and he had set up shop and shuffled out, long before we came to this space in Rosemead and claimed it as our brand new Wonderland. And this red rug, well it probably shoulda been tossed in the garbage with all the rest of the junk, but it wasn’t. And my legs were tired. And so therefore, I was sitting on it.

I had just gotten back from Joe’s hometown, Martha’s Vineyard. I would’ve stayed longer, really — it was that nice — but I didn’t want to be considered a Wash-a-Shore. They have this music space there, Peacegate, that’s a lot like our space in Rosemead, except entirely different. And they had all these lovely unpainted ladies that could play instruments galore and sing like that voice in Ursula’s Shell in The Little Mermaid. It was impressive, to say the least. All this multi-tasking going on, and talent to boot, feminine wiles and all that, and me sitting there, taking pictures with my dinky little camera, pretending I was good at that. Which I wasn’t. But I definitely wasn’t about to go around staking my claim on any sort of instrument.

Flash forward to me sitting pretty on said ugly rug. One of the girls from the Island had come to visit, and I was watching her play music, and she was so good at everything. And me? On paper, sure. Tennis, soccer, theatre, pottery, horticulture, baking, being charming….. You name it. I took classes in it. I just couldn’t follow through with following through. My parents were beyond supportive of me and my extremely embarrassing endeavors. But time took its toll, I left the nest and I’ve been sort of flitting and building and collecting straw and weeds ever since. I’m a great fast food reviewer. I can name every public restroom in Los Angeles. I’m A+ at Googling. I can identify any sort of dog breed or concocted dog breed. I’m good at MarioKart. And I guess, I thought, when I wrote this song, that the buck stopped there.

So I sat on said ugly rug. And I wrote this little number. And I’m assuming most humans can relate to falling short and falling hard. And probably, most likely in front of one’s Ultimate High School Crush that one thought they might see again — any day now really — that hopefully this time, one might be on top of things and ten pounds thinner with something super hilarious and witty to say. And if you can’t relate to that, then feel free to stop reading this and downloading now and pretty please come play things you’re halfway decent at with us. Thank you and goodnight. Or good morning. And if it is in fact morning, please feel free to eat a piece of bacon for me.

Yours truly until further notice,
- V - Recycled Love Songs


Where's the Sun EP Sept. 2009
Songbook Nov. 2009
Through the Trees EP March 2010
St. Croix EP March 2012- Nettwerk
Diversity EP May 2012- Nettwerk
Loma Vista LP- July.10, 2012- Nettwerk



Most bands function like a family, seeing how touring, writing, and studio time force them to share a lot of small spaces for extended periods of time. But Family of the Year has taken that familial feeling a step further, and not just with its moniker. The members of the Los Angeles outfit have formed unbreakable bonds amongst themselves that come from cohabitating in a run-down house and relying on each other for inspiration and support, which has led to the kind of camaraderie that allows members to finish each other’s sentences. It also doesn’t hurt that frontman Joe Keefe and drummer Sebastian Keefe are real-life siblings.

Not surprisingly, many of the group’s songs feature numerous voices, and more than a few include a chorus of joyous handclaps. Some even sound like they should be sung by the tight-knit group around the campfire while the s’mores are melting and the wine is flowing, especially the ones that name-drop members of the band. Guitarist Jamesy Buckey, in particular, has received the lion’s share of shout-outs in FOTY songs, to the point where it’s become a Family tradition.

Family of the Year’s story began in 2009, when Joe assembled a band around an album, Songbook, that he completed while decompressing from a five-year stint with Unbusted, the alt-rock trio he started in Boston with Sebastian that gained some notoriety for its inclusion on the soundtrack to the Farrelly brothers’ film Stuck On You. Instead of relying on the distortion of his past, suddenly pianos, horns, acoustic guitars, and other assorted instrumentation were being used to display a more sophisticated—yet equally as playful—indie-rock sound that brings to mind classic pop bands like The Smiths, The Byrds, Fleetwood Mac, and The Go-Betweens.

To say that Family of the Year has accomplished a lot in a short amount of time would be an understatement. In addition to Songbook, the band has issued a pair of EPs on its own Washashore Records imprint - 2009’s Where’s The Sun, 2010’s Through The Trees – in addition to 2011’s St. Croix. Songs from all four discs have made their way onto various international releases. Media attention has come from various corners of the world, including heavy rotation on French radio as well as glowing reviews from NME, BBC, IFC, Rolling Stone and Spin.

Following the release of Loma Vista on July 10, 2012 via Nettwerk Records the band toured across the country with a full schedule of dates. In addition to plenty of stateside dates, the Family returned overseas, where it had already developed a significant fanbase. In 2011, the band played sold-out shows in England and across Europe, including a triumphant set at France’s largest music festival, Les Vieilles Charrues.

The list of artists that FOTY has played with over the years is notable, including Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (who took the band on tour early in its career), Mumford & Sons, Gomez, Good Old War, Belle Brigade and The Antlers, though arguably the most impressive opening gig so far was when the band warmed up a Ben Folds performance with the Boston Pops Orchestra. Handpicked by Folds and Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart, Family of the Year beat out 700 other hopeful artists to open the Oct. 2009 event. Not a bad way to spend your third show ever.

“We went back home to Boston to play at Symphony Hall, which was the sweetest homecoming ever,” says Joe. “The show was amazing. Our mom got to stay at a nice hotel and get dressed up and come see us play. Musically we were a bit shaky, it being our third gig, but it was a great room to play in.”

Proving its versatility, the Family has made fans of a couple of fellow Massachusetts-bred musicians who, on the surface at least, don’t have much in common: singer-songwriter Willy Mason and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler. Mason contributed to the reggae-tinged “The Princess And The Pea” on Through The Trees, while the demon of screamin’ discovered Family of the Year through a mutual connection and compared what he heard to “The Mamas And The Papas on acid.” Interestingly enough, the Keefe brothers used to live next to the apartment in Boston that once housed Aerosmith.

“I don’t think Steven Tyler is getting a tattoo anytime soon, but he likes our music,” says Sebastian. “We had the opportunity to meet him once, and he was really cool.”

But a band is only as good as its most recent output, which is why it’s fair to say that Family of the Year has positioned itself for greatness. Recorded by what now constitutes the core of FOTY—Joe (vocals, guitar), Sebastian (drums, vocals), Buckey (guitar, vocals), and Christina Schroeter (keyboards, vocals)—the group completed 14 songs with producer Wally Gagel at his new studio in Hollywood, 10 of which made it onto Loma Vista. This is the first time that the band has worked with a producer and gone outside their own camp to release their music.

With Gagel’s assistance, the band has crafted a stirring set of songs te