Family Band is what happens when a visual artist, Kim Krans, discovers she has a voice with the ability to send tremors of melancholy and deep thought via the medium of sound. Thankfully her husband is on hand to provide the audio mood: one Jonny Ollsin, a former heavy-metal guitarist who seems to have discovered a knack for creating ambient landscapes.
The pace of Grace & Lies rarely moves beyond a reflective wander, the journey taking in the wilderness where Krans’ inner thoughts are scattered. Yet these songs feel expansive in production. Lace builds with Ollsin creating tension with power chords he probably recycled from his metal days – the words “I will lead you home tonight as though you have no weight upon your back” echo with an understanding and experience in life’s harsh lessons.
Again is a special track, for it’s the moment where Krans’ deep tones finally shatter your heart, amidst a steady beat and slowly stirring guitars, a slide included.
As a set, Grace & Lies creates a constant mood that is hard to shake, even when the music finally fades. The title track is a warm slipstream of ethereal backing vocals, crisp guitars and Krans’ words, left hanging, caught between the grace and the lies.
Closing on the folk-tinged, acoustic Rest, the duo create an ominous backdrop with Ollsin’s rumbling guitars. It’s more confirmation that Family Band’s world will never escape the ghosts of turmoil and Krans’ inner-most thoughts.
This album is a finely constructed form of delicate devastation, delivered in glistening widescreen and fronted by one of the most affecting vocalists I’ve heard all year.