One of the most exciting things to watch from afar is the constant east-west battle for sub-cultural dominance. Though the UK may be quite fractured socially, musically it’s all quite fluid up to a point, but the US doesn’t have the same advantage of being separated mainly by driving a couple of hours. And so, whilst California has built up a formidable canon of chillwave and garage rock bands, it’s cross-country counterpart has somewhat let the hipster crown slip from it’s carefully coiffed head. They may be sitting pretty in their American Apparel sometime soon, though, if Family Trees manage to get even an ounce of the recognition they deserve.
They’re on their way there, at least – Pitchfork have already talked them up, as well as the usual host of replica blogs. The hippest thing about the band is propbably the fact that they don’t sound like many other things out there. After Fleet Foxes, we’ve seen a lot of bands attempting that whole life-affirming, orchestral sound with varying degrees of competence, but here is a band that has someone managed to take the next logical step, building upon that firm, forest base by turning the whole experience into a blurred polaroid. Folksy without being twee and obviously talented without rubbing it in the audiences, the dreamy nature of their sound is reflected by the fact they’ve got two songs similarly titled – ‘Dream Talkin’ and the less subtle ‘Dream Dream’.
There’s not a huge amount of variation in the sound, but there doesn’t really need to be. This is the kind of stuff you could imagine soundtracking a Wes Anderson movie, simultaneously retrospective and fearlessly forward looking. They’re so honey-toned and brilliant that it’d be difficult to label them sell-outs even if they did.
family trees – dream talking [download from father daughter records]