If there is one thing that Family Of The Year do well, it’s penning a decent song about the summer. Based on the four-piece’s second long-player, they clearly favour the glass being half full rather than half empty. ‘Loma Vista’, which comes three years after debut ‘Songbook’ hit the UK, is unashamedly pre-occupied on the highs of life, and is a piece of work firmly rooted in the familiar surroundings of summery indie-pop.
Comprising of brothers Joe and Sebastian Keefe, James Buckey and completed by Christina Schroeter, the band aren’t shy when it comes to their melodies. Opener ‘The Stairs’ is destined to be the soundtrack to an as yet unmade mobile phone advert, the band bravely championing a sense of sanitised optimism that runs rampant through most of the album’s eleven tracks.
This same sense of optimism lends the album a youthful vibe - the majority of the line up is still firmly in their twenties - yet it also highlights the lack of depth thematically on the album. These songs will no doubt find their feet being performed around a beach campfire at sunset, preferably with an audience politely clapping their hands, but there isn’t too much else on offer here. The delightful but obvious ‘Buried’ is a prime example of this, and whilst there are moments when this overbearing feeling of cheerfulness is hard to ignore, you just wish there was more to them than just having a good time. ‘Diversity’ is reminiscent of a less truthful Fanfarlo, whilst recent single ‘St Croix’ is catchy enough, its twangy guitars insisting that we ‘get away from it all’.
It’s the sound of the Beach Boys that is echoed on ‘Never Enough’, recalling those long sleepless nights of a summer heatwave; whilst on ‘Hey Ma’ Keefe asks ‘What’s up with the scene? Will we still fit in?’ The track’s over-nostalgic, blatantly clichéd references to the past is easily forgiven however, given the surprisingly rousing swell midway through that gives way to a charming piano-led finale.
Loma Vista is a ultimately an immediately enjoyable, if easily forgettable album, far too one-sided for its own good, and more a showcase of a band who are capable of writing a handful of very good pop songs, but not an album worthy of any longevity.