Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Akron/Family – Love is Simple


Simply put, this is one of the best albums of the year, from a band that I knew next to nothing about until a couple of weeks ago. I had always associated Akron/Family with the outer reaches of American ‘freak folk’ (whatever that means) and thought they might be one of these bands that may be easier to admire than love. Until Love is Simple cam my way recently.

There’s nothing particularly weird or abstract here. Unless you count wild eclecticism as weird, that is. It’s almost exhausting just taking in all the styles and influences that the New York-based band have compressed into the 57 minutes of this album. There’s acoustic folk-pop, 70s rock riffs, four-part harmonising, chanting, tribal grooves, electronic effects and a big down-home singalong. And that’s just the first three tracks! There’s just so much crammed in here, along with a healthy dose of the expected experimentation, and it seems to me that it must be impossible for anyone not to enjoy the aural feast that Akron/Family have presented us with. The fact that it’s released on Michael Gira’s Young God Records may mean that it won’t be a big chart hit, but this is a record that deserves, nay demands, as wide an audience as possible.

Akron / Family are coming to the UK in December with the equally excellent Phosphorescent. That’s a hard double bill for me to refuse. The London date is at Cargo on 2 December. I’d be a fool not to go.

Download: Akron/Family – Ed is a Portal
Download: Akron/Family – Phenomena

Buy Love is Simple or download from emusic.

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