There’s been a constant pull to combine the best elements of folk into these uniquely open pastoral and electronic feels. Remember when artists featured trepidation with quietness, and even liveliness, with downtrodden touches? For many bands and artists, this has been an exercise in experimentation and for many, it’s worked out well. Le Loup’s Family follows in this same path, combining terrific styles into one awesomely kindled spirit, and with enough creativity to make it all sound distinctive; it’s an entirely gifted listen into the music an improving band is capable of.
A family is one of the world’s many fascinating entities. It starts off small and grows through time, with new branches and extensions, it often feels like a see-saw with the shifts between stress and struggles continually challenging and when everything is good, there isn’t a stronger feel of happiness anywhere else. The family on this record is happy together and even with all of their immense sounds, they sound jointly cohesive. Much in that sense, Le Loup’s Family showcases a band that started off as Sam Simkoff’s bedroom project and is now a full-fledged band that above all else, brims with wondrous amounts of gentleness and tenderness.
The album’s self-titled song encompasses everything in the aforementioned paragraph with amazing results. Starting off with rustling sticks and far-away chants, Le Loup does a great job of presenting the opaque openness. Slowly adding a Gregorian chant on one side that is followed by a guitar’s soft strumming and tribal drums, the ensuing melody is a magical. Listing off relatives from grandfather to brother, the band is suddenly singing about the love a family can share at the top of their lungs. It recalls the cyclical singing Fleet Foxes made famous last year with the chants that Noah Lennox has fashioned for quite some time now; it never falters, it only succeeds and it’s one of the best musical moments of the year.
Taking note of that vast cover, it’s safe to say that this album covers a wide amount of territory. There is also a feeling of intrigue with how everything was produced. The band credits their experimentation to playing with the sound after they were recorded. At first, they’d sit down and get the entire music put on tape before they would go into the studio, add elements, electronics and treatments to music that was mostly finished. In the end, it presents an album that might be seen as a remix album, but unless they present what the unchanged album was, we’ll never know what happened. Ultimately, the finished product is impressive on its own.
Regardless of whether they’re pushing the side of dance music with the stomping upbeat style of “Sherpa”, which glitters with glowing guitar, or spinning into the realm of freak-folk with “Beach Town” and Simkoff’s flowing words, Family is an excellent album. Le Loup hasn’t altered their original goal and purpose, instead they’ve added new collections and they’ve even improved on some of the earlier problems from their debut, The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations’ Millennium General Assembly. It’s an especially endearing listen and one that will only find the band with some much deserved attention at the end of the year.
“Beach Town” by Le Loup
“Forgive Me” by Le Loup