Modern Kin's sweeping 12 song debut begins with singer Drew
Grow's ardent wail, and expands into heady and tilted harmonies that scrape
around rowdy guitars. These are songs that push forward and take up space, that
celebrate the primitive thrill of being loud when you are expected to be quiet.
Spinal drums bend under the weight of probing riffs that snap back toward
indelible, rousing melodies. At its core, however,
this is a live band. And as most great live bands attempt, Modern Kin has
successfully turned their recorded work into a mirror of the hot lights, quavering
strings and communal experience. What emerges is an expansive album that deeply
explores the instinctual, essential connection music can make between us.
The band formed in 2007, in a SE
neighborhood of Portland, OR. They were called Drew Grow & the Pastors'
Wives then, a sort of imaginative and sensitive family. Propelled by leader
Drew Grow's extraordinary songwriting, and armed with shared hopes of honoring
a sustainable life dedicated to music, the four members worked tirelessly
together to bring their vision to life. Their communal house served as a kind
of DIY factory - a record label (Amigo/Amiga) was formed by drummer Jeremiah
Hayden, songs were written, practiced and recorded, t-shirts screened, tours
booked, all within their four walls. And they experienced some successes -
their gritty, soulful, self-propelled album earned them national tours with
Wild Flag, and The Head & The Heart.
In 2012, the band trimmed down
to its three core members (Grow, Hayden, and bassist Kris Doty) entered the studio,
and emerged with a new name, a recombined sense of purpose, and a record spun
with the elbow grease and fervent drive that had first brought them together.
Modern Kin's debut was also the debut of Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney, Quasi,
Wild Flag) as a producer. Basic tracks were recorded in a blazing eight days at
the now-defunct Hangar Studios in Sacramento, CA, with engineer Bryce Gonzales
(Here We Go Magic, The Breeders, Devandra Banhart) before the band returned
home to their refuge, their basement studio, to put the finishing touches on
the songs. Two of the tracks, Abandon and Big Enough to Cook, were mixed by
Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, MGMT, Tame Impala) , while the remainder were
mixed by K. Evan Hodge III and Drew Grow.
Bound by tenacity, friendship,
and a compelling desire to make formidable music together, Modern Kin releases
their self-titled debut album October 22, on Amigo/Amiga Recordings. Says Mark
Baumgarten of the Seattle Weekly after Modern Kin's first show together,
"their electrifying performance in that dark underground club before a
handful of people convinced me that Drew Grow is in fact destined for great