CMW REVIEW: Family of the Year

By Toni Rose Castillo. The craze of Canadian Music Week has been a whirlwind of music hailing from the local to the global, showcasing the ones to watch out for as well as the big superstars, all into the vibrant city of Toronto. As festivalgoers are conflicted with choosing which artists to see, it is clear that CMW have done a great job with creating a killer lineup.

Six days into the ten-day festival and after much contemplation, it came down to watching California rockers Family of the Year. I had no idea what to expect, as I listened with fresh ears and a clear mind and I was instantly blown away by their music. Playing songs from their latest album, Loma Vista, Family of the Year lifted the audience’s spirits (quite literally) with their catchy melodic guitar riffs and colorful vocal harmonies. The four-piece group that consists of lead singer Joseph Keefe, Christina Schroeter, Sebastian, Keefe, and James Buckley, knew how to put on a great show by created an infectious energy that got everyone dancing and singing along.

Playing songs like “The Stairs”, “In The End”, “Diversity”, just to name a few, already had me dancing and swaying, and not long after the whole audience was moving along to the music. The crowd pleasing favorite “Hero” was a reminder of a feel-good summer vibe similar to early Grouplove that channels the free spirited feeling of freedom, all while having the happy and upbeat musical arrangement, but with more prominence in its harmonies and clean-cut vocal timbre.

The timeless and nostalgic feelings arose in me, as it felt liberating to listen to what may be a part of my soundtrack to the summer. The music was comforting and the energy was filled with pure joy that lingered throughout the audience, who were innately asking for more. Needless to say, Family of The Year’s future is promising following their prior success. What is to come for them after they tour is unclear, but it is something to keep an eye out for!

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