Ah, California dreaming on such a summer’s day. Brothers and Sisters effectively wrangle up the laid-back sunshine vibe of 1970s California AM radio pop/rock, but without being a retro throwback. For the record, this Austin septet actually features only one pair of siblings, leaders Will and Lily Courtney. Their five bandmates and another seven “extended family” members have pooled their resources to create a strong debut of acoustic guitar-driven, country-kissed songs. While they certainly draw from the Eagles and Neil Young, they also touch on the works of artists closer to being their contemporaries, such as Will Oldham and My Morning Jacket. Still, the band are too earnest to belong to modern times. Will Courtney denies the trappings of present day consumption-crazy culture in “New Life”, with its groovy organ-fed shuffle and casual declaration: “All these luxuries, these extra things / They don’t mean shit.” The lyrical and musical straightforwardness of Brothers and Sisters is refreshing, as is the quality of the tunes all throughout this very good first album. We will soak it in and hope for more.
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