Family Band, Grace and Lies

Amanda Petrusich

By Amanda Petrusich

on 07.24.12 in Reviews
A meditation on darkness that yields light

Grace and Lies: two ghostly characters envisioned by Family Band vocalist (and former visual artist) Kim Krans as a pair of girlish sirens with wily intentions, capable of quick seduction and even quicker betrayal (“I saw them in a field behind our cabin, singing and slow dancing,” she’s said). It’s a sinister and defeating image, but fitting; Krans and her guitarist husband Jonny Ollsin, formerly of the metal bands Children and S.T.R.E.E.T.S., make aching, languorous goth-folk, vaguely reminiscent of the Handsome Family and Beach House, but slower, stranger, more hollow-eyed. Grace and Lies, their second full-length, isn’t a record for the nights you have people coming over, or for a midday stroll through the park — Ollsin’s stark, velvety guitar and Krans’s disconcertingly affect-less vocals are better suited to those very-early-morning, there’s-the-sun slumps, the moments when you catch yourself reconsidering every last decision you’ve ever made. If that sounds impossibly depressing, fear not: Grace and Lies is buoying, a meditation on darkness that yields light. As Krans explains in “Moonbeams,” it’s the questioning that’ll save you: “If you wonder what I need/ I’ll tell you just what I need/ But I gotta hear your wondering sounds.”