The New Familiars are a quartet of bearded guys from the Charlotte area. Maybe they’re familiar because of said beards, that itchy facial fashion picking up steam thanks to the Avett Brothers, Band of Horses and Kings of Leon.
But, before anyone gets all bent out of shape about my thoughts on beards, I’m here to note that if (like Samson’s seven locks) the extra hair doesn’t add to a band’s creative strength, it doesn’t seem to hurt. The New Familiars play a fresh (if not breakthrough) blend of country blues, folk rock and gritty acoustic tunes. They’ve got honky-tonk elements of Dobro and harmonica; mountain touches of banjo and rough-hewn harmonies made for ‘70s-era Southern Rock (which, by the way, I predict is coming back even bigger than beards).
The group claims that “life is our biggest influence” and they reckon they sound like “heartbreak, desire, anger, jealousy, happiness, patriotism, love, sadness and hope.” That is for you, the listener, to decide. I think they sound like rambling men with farmers tans and battered rucksacks splitting their time between the open road and the open arms of pretty hippie girls. At least, they sound like they could write the soundtrack to that movie.