Photos and Review by Chandler Mays
The Earl was immersed in a night of heartwarming LA-based indie music as two up and coming bands played to a small but enthusiastic crowd on tuesday night. Family of the Year took the stage first, delivering a gorgeous set of harmonious folk pop. The band’s name is quite fitting, as their behavior on and off stage resemble that of a tightly knit family unit. In Los Angeles, they actually all live together in a house, supporting each other financially and constantly writing music together. This arrangement has created a strong sense of community between the bandmates, which shines through on stage in their performance. Crafting graceful harmonies, catchy melodies, and bouncy, handclap-filled pop songs, Family of the Year reminds me of Local Natives and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, two of my favorite indie bands of the past decade. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith apparently digs Family of the Year as well, having refered to them as “The Mamas and the Papas on acid.” They mostly played songs from their delightful new album, Loma Vista, my favorite one being “St. Croix”, a divinely sunny jam filled with harmonizing jangly guitars and euphoric lyrics. The band blissfully sang, “You bring the ocean, I’ll bring emotion. Together we’ll make a love potion.” Be warned, this tune will get stuck in your head, especially after watching the delightfully silly Beach Boys-inspired music video.
White Arrows took the stage next, playing psychedelic electro-rock highly conducive to hip-shaking, head-nodding, or fist-pumping, depending on what you’re into. Their colorful light shows matched their equally colorful flowered shirts, save for the bassist who rocked a lone-wolf attitude by wearing a hooded jacket. They began the show with “Roll Forever“, track one from their debut LP Dry Land Is Not A Myth. Similar to Radiohead’s “15 Step“, a bass-heavy synth loop kicked in, which was soon followed by Strokes-esque guitar strums, immersing the crowd into the world of White Arrows. I was immediately captivated by the vocals of lead singer Mickey Church, whose voice is reminiscent of MGMT’s Andrew VanWyngarden or Empire of the Sun’s Luke Steele. After a rocking opener, Mickey introduced the band by saying, “Hello, we’re White Arrows from California, and this next song is from New Jersey.” The band proceeded to play a reverb-drenched rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire“, which the audience responded to with delight. The rest of the fairly short set was pitch perfect psychedelic pop, garnering positive responses from the crowd, especially on their single “Get Gone“. My personal favorite song they played was “Sail On“, a breezy island-tinged electro jam where Mickey sings, “There are times when the world seems to stop, then I’ll have time to sit and watch.” I recommend everyone to sit and watch for White Arrows. They know how to make you move.
Full Gallery after the jump…