Simple songwriting is all quality players need to make incredible music no matter the genre, and the talented Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors rightly keep things on the conservative side for their new single “Family” this fall. Rather than giving us a pop single flush with a lot of synthetic luster, as the competition has had no problem doing lately, Holcomb and his band give us fresh, harmony-driven pop in “Family” that doesn’t sound like it’s been cut from the same cloth another act would just as soon call their own. That being said, this is a familiar tone, and thus, something that feels rather comforting in such unfamiliar times.
Feel-good vibes adorn every shot in the music video for “Family,” and this is largely because of how homespun every frame is. Props and external narratives find no quarter in this offering; this band is stirring up a mood just by giving us the simple smiles that have been missing from most of our lives as the pandemic has raged on. Uncomplicated composing deserves an equally smart presentation when it’s converted into a music video, and these are players that don’t need to be told as much – they’re putting on a masterclass here.
As far as instrumental componentry goes, the drums are the most important, pulsating part of this song outside of the vocal that Holcomb is putting up in the middle of the mix. The chime of the guitars puts a nice sparkle on the harmony, but it never distracts from the rigid, almost boxy verses as they’re integrated into the band’s play. There’s undeniably some retro pop/rock in the bones of this performance, but it’s sewn into the sonic depth of the music more than it is the actual virtuosity of the play (which I’ll more than happily take, given the overly-surreal sound a lot of alternative players are going with right now).
The guitar parts here aren’t over the top; in fact, they’re kind of understated in comparison to what I might have initially thought favorable to employ, but they still have an important part to play in “Family.” They’re the flesh beneath the blushing skin of the singer here, and while they’re minimized by the beat of the drums, this too would seem like an intentional feature in the grander scheme of things. We’re made to focus on the most progressive elements of this track, primarily as a means of relating the lyrical narrative with the mood of the music by itself.
If you’re hungry for a jam that’s going to get you in a better frame of mind right off the bat today, Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors’ “Family” is a single that you should consider starting your day with this autumn. It’s a tough song to put down once you get into its swaggering swing, and if it’s a projection of who Holcomb and his band are when they’re hitting their stride, they’re likely just getting started in what will be a very successful career together.
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