S/T 11: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT

Since their 2005 debut, Akron/Family has been deftly avoiding the genre labels being hurled their way. Call them “folk,” and they’ll give you a twisted dabbling of electronica; dub them “psych,” and they’ll churn out some of the prettiest three-part harmonies this side of Fleet Foxes. For album number six, the trio has pushed themselves even further, though, and come away with a record more ambitious (and ambitiously titled) than anything we could have expected. Opening track “Silly Bears” is a multi-layered foot-stomper that mixes computer loops over big vocal harmonies and some beautifully blown-out drumwork. Later, “Fuji I (Global Dub)” connects the dots between Southern rock riffs and traditional Eastern tones, then explodes into a hard-hitting freak-out, while “Fuji II (Single Pane)” harkens back to Akron’s early field-recording days before morphing into a barely there arrangement of hand drums, guitars, and vocals. In between it all, we get a collection that sounds both meticulous and haphazard, occupying that so-called space between that Akron/Family seems destined to thrive in.

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