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Stage Buzz: Family Of The Year

California cool kids, Family Of The Year, fill our ears with catchy beach tunes on their latest album Loma Vista (Nettwerk Productions). The indie-pop L.A. band delivers bright, fun melodies with honest, down-to-earth lyrics that reflect the simplicity of life. The album opens on an easy note with “The Stairs,” which transitions into an uplifting rocker (guitar thrashing and all) complete with background vocals worthy of a full choir on a Sunday morning. Although these tracks, with their cheerful and genuinely fun beats, run the gamut in this genre, the album carries a few surprises. Breezy surf tune, “St. Croix,” has an island flair and airy vocals that feel lighter than the lyrics themselves. We dip into a folky sound with “Buried” and its surprisingly lighthearted lyrics, considering the focus is on dying. An acoustic guitar and unforgettable percussion comforts on the softer ballad, “Everytime.” “Hey Ma” reels with a solemn ache for home on “Hey Ma.” They tell it like it is, even if it’s painful. But the range of the album can’t be forgotten. “In The End,” with its escalating harmonies, delivers an uplifting chorus and a main message as many of their songs do – friends and family are the most important things in life. (Sunday@Schubas.)

– Mary Scannell

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