Akron/Family are a Brooklyn, New York-based outfit whose music incorporates everything from post-psychedelic rock to appropriations of world music traditions, avant folk, and even improvisation.
Their most notable trademark is their instantly recognizable three-part harmonies. The group's original lineup consisted of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Seth Olinsky, from Williamsport, Pennsylvania; vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Miles Seaton, from Porterville, California; vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Dana Janssen, from Williamsport, Pennsylvania; and lead vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Ryan Vanderhoof, from Union Springs, New York. They came together around a coffee shop in Brooklyn in 2003. They began recording demos in an apartment and sending them to Young God Records label head Michael Gira, who signed them in 2004. Their self-titled debut offering appeared a year later and the band -- who'd already had a local cult following centered around the Gimme! Coffee shop -- began to develop a madcap reputation for their wide, seamless, yet jarring stylistic variations, often within the same song.
Following their 2005 release and a split with Angels of Light (also serving as the backing road and studio band for that Gira project), Akron/Family released their follow-up album, Meek Warrior, in October 2006. In 2007, lead vocalist Ryan Vanderhoof left after recording the adventurous Love Is Simple. The group decided to remain a trio. Akron/Family signed to Dead Oceans in late 2008. Their debut for the label, Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free, appeared in May; it was licensed for release in Europe by Crammed Discs. The group quickly followed it with a pair of singles: "River" b/w "Morning on Michigan Avenue" and "Everyone Is Guilty" b/w "Total Destruction."
After extended touring and a brief respite, Akron/Family retreated to a cabin near an active volcano in Hokkaido, Japan, in order to write new material. Upon returning to the United States, they teamed with producer Chris Koltay (Liars, Holy Fuck, Deerhunter) and commenced to record in Michigan Central Station, the abandoned (and infamous) ten-story train station in Detroit. The end result was The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT, issued in February of 2011 on Dead Oceans. After a global tour, the band reentered the studio in late 2012. Sub Verses was released in April of 2013. ~ Tammy La Gorce & Thom Jurek, Rovi