Entertainment Magazine

11 Modern Family Bands

Posted on the 28 February 2014 by Thewildhoneypie @thewildhoneypie

dave madden partridge family 660 ap 620x348 11 MODERN FAMILY BANDS

I’m one of three children in my family, and all of us started playing violin at the ripe old age of five. In the years that followed, we all went down different musical paths, picking up other instruments and delving into the worlds of different genres. Throughout it all however, we’ve made sure to join forces and unite our musical interests. Perhaps because our first collaborations were bluegrass jams at violin camp, we grew up with all of our family friends telling us “You guys are just like the  Carter (or Partridge) Family!” Family bands are most often associated with the folk genre, along with a romanticized image of a porch somewhere in the South laden with banjos, upright basses, musical spoons and other noise-making tools of the sort. Some of the greatest and most iconic bands across all genres have been related by blood. With family comes love, bickering, inside jokes, the complications of birth order and much more. Though it might seem like an antiquated trope, the family band is still alive and well today, producing some of the best music out there. Here are some of my favorite modern family bands that are keeping tradition going.

1. Kings of Leon

One of the most famous currently active family bands, the three Followill brothers (and their cousin Cameron) were probably inundated with the same basic foundation of family folk bands that my siblings and I know so well. These roots come across in their Southern indie rock style, paying homage to the blues and Americana legends that came before them.

2. The Magic Numbers

With not one but TWO sets of siblings, this British group is laden with such sweetness and elegance that you can practically feel the familial vibes flowing through their songs.

3. Wardell

While some bands choose not to advertise their family ties, Wardell endearingly named their EP Brother/Sister. With Sasha Spielberg singing lead vocals (yes, that Spielberg), Theo does a stellar job backing up his lil’ sis like any good big bro is wont to do.

4. Harry and the Potters

There’s no hiding the fact that I became a fan of Harry and the Potters because of my (still thriving) obsession with Harry Potter. What I later learned made me love them even more: these Potter impersonators are brothers! For all you non-believers out there, don’t worry — their music still kicks ass even if you don’t understand the literary references. Honorable mention: Draco and the Malfoys (not really though, just trying to appeal to our Slytherin audience).

5. First Aid Kit

These Swedish folk nymphs have been an inspiration for my sister and I since the first moment we saw them in their matching flannels covering Fleet Foxes in the Scandinavian forest. With pristine harmonies like theirs, you can tell they’ve been singing together since they were both just out of the womb.

6. Tegan and Sara

There’s no way to miss the blood ties here, seeing as Tegan and Sara are identical twin sisters with matching hairstyles and, very often, matching outfits. They began writing songs together at the age of 15, and have been nailing it ever since (especially with the recent Lego Movie theme!).

7. Arcade Fire

There are so many appealing and admirable qualities of Arcade Fire. Maybe you were hooked in with their interactive “Reflektor” music video; maybe you fell in love with their occasional verse sung in French; maybe it’s the fact that they managed to shift the mainstream music industry’s attention towards indie rock; maybe it’s that Régine and Win are married and have a child. Just in case you need another reason to be fond of Arcade Fire, know that Win’s brother, Will, is also a contributor to their wondrous sound.

8. Caged Animals

When I decided to make this list, I had no idea that Caged Animals included a brother-sister pair. While brainstorming, their quirky indie pop style appeared in my head out of nowhere. Without any previous hints, I looked them up to find that my intuition was correct. There’s something deeply and subtly embedded in their eccentricity that spoke to the younger sister in me.

9. The National

Here we have a group that I, and probably you, have loved for a long time without knowing that the band behind Matt Berninger’s melancholy vocals consisted of two pairs of brothers. Without such a tightly knit backing band, who knows, maybe Berninger’s voice wouldn’t pierce the souls of its loving fans like it does.

10. Haim

Haim is arguably the world’s favorite modern family band of the moment, and for good reason. This Californian sister triumvirate was our band of the year for 2013, and eldest sister Este alone has a cult following for the photos of her bass face.

11. The Avett Brothers

The only band on this list that calls attention to their family ties in the band name is The Avett Brothers, who definitely keep the traditional definition of the family band going. Their songs often include stories or references to their shared upbringing in the aforementioned romanticized folk style. My favorite lyric that exemplifies their brotherly bond is in the song “Murder in the City”. “Always remember there was nothing worth sharing/Like the love that lets us share our name,” which my sister and I both both wept to when we saw them perform it live at Governors Ball 2013.


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