THE FAMILY CREST
The Family Crest have already earned widespread national applause for their extraordinary orchestral pop ambition but with THE WAR, the San Francisco-based collective makes their boldest, most fully articulated musical statement thus far. The second installment of what promises to be an epic musical saga, THE WAR: ACT I represents “the next version of The Family Crest,” says frontman-founder Liam McCormick and indeed, the album reveals a band more in tune with its own large-scale Baroque eclecticism.
Songs like “Take Tonight” and “It Keeps Us Dancing” wed a remarkable span of sonic influences – from ’70s groove to synthpop, Afro-Cuban soul to California jazz, glam rock, and anything else that might suit the greater goal – to create a cohesive, utterly original sound and vision all its own. Preceded in early 2017 by the PRELUDE TO WAR EP, the new album marks the first act of a greater multi-tiered project, a kind of serial concept album with a pronounced thematic arc that weaves ideas of pride and memory, dissonance and divergence, into a purposefully ambiguous but undeniably unified whole.
“THE WAR is ultimately about conflict,” says McCormick. “The battles we go through every day, the trauma we reference from various situations in our lives that inform the decisions we make. It’s about the complexity of human nature, how we’re all equally capable of doing wonderful things and terrible things. It’s about the control that those battles have over us as we move through our lives.”
Wilkinson James was born when singer-songwriters Liz Wilkinson and AJ Scheiber met up and began performing together in 2008. Their first (self-titled) album, released in 2014, reflected their love of folk, honky-tonk, and country blues, and proudly displayed the singing and songwriting style they developed playing the taprooms and coffee dens of the Twin Cities as a duo. Over the last couple of years that folk duo has grown into a full band that regularly features dobro and saxophone in addition to bass and drums.