The Family Crest Beneath The Brine on 2LP + Download Code
The brainchild of Liam McCormick, The Family Crest was started as a recording project in 2009 with co-founder John Seeterlin (bass). “We were in another band and had become disillusioned about what that band had become about,” explains McCormick. “Everyone wanted to be rock stars at the expense of the music. John and I were actually planning on leaving music at that point because we wanted something that in ten years we could be proud of.”
Instead of leaving music, they set out to reinvent how it could be created, starting The Family Crest. “We always liked making music with people - getting a bunch of people together and singing. So we put ads everywhere,” says McCormick. “We posted on Craigslist and emailed old friends from school.” The outcome was greater than the original duo imagined, with 80 people credited on the first recording the band produced.
From that a band emerged, at the urging of the guest musicians, who wanted to hear the songs performed live. “We’ve worked with a lot of conservatory students as well as people who just sing in the shower,” McCormick adds. “It became a lot about giving these people a chance to express themselves without being locked into a commitment.”
Now a seven-piece core band, boasting over 400 “Extended Family” members, The Family Crest will release Beneath the Brine in February 2014 on Tender Loving Empire. Just with its previous recordings, the San Francisco band set out to capture a plethora of instruments - including bassoon, vibraphone and French horn - in unique places, such as living rooms, churches and cafes across the West Coast.
Following on the heels of last summer’s The Headwinds EP, Beneath the Brine shows that singer Liam McCormick’s ambition is well placed. The expansive breadth of arrangements - from dark, classical romanticism (“Beneath the Brine”) to horn-laden sounds akin to the Roaring 20s (“Howl”) - are complemented by the incredible range of McCormick’s voice.
Beneath the Brine also showcases The Family Crest’s ability to infuse pop into complex arrangements, with songs like “Love Don’t Go” and “The World.” The album is a sweeping soundscape befitting the oceanic theme of the title and what SPIN notes as “ambition wide enough to swallow you whole.”
The Family Crest Beneath The Brine Track Listing:
1. Beneath the Brine
2. The World
3. Love Don’t Go
4. William's Dirge
6. The Water's Fine
1. I Am the Winter
2. She Knows My Name
3. As We Move Forward
4. When the Lights Go Out
5. There's a Thunder
6. Make Me a Boat