Modern Kin’s sweeping 12 song debut begins with singer Drew Grow’s ardent wail, and expands into heady and tilted harmonies that scrape around rowdy guitars. These are songs that push forward and take up space, that celebrate the primitive thrill of being loud when you are expected to be quiet. Spinal drums bend under the weight of probing riffs that snap back toward indelible, rousing melodies. At its core, however, this is a live band. And as most great live bands attempt, Modern Kin has successfully turned their recorded work into a mirror of the hot lights, quavering strings and communal experience. What emerges is an expansive album that deeply explores the instinctual, essential connection music can make between us.
The band formed in 2007 in Portland, OR. They were called Drew Grow & the Pastors' Wives then, and their communal house served as a DIY factory - a record label was formed, songs were written, t-shirts screened, tours booked, all within their four walls. And they experienced some successes - their gritty, soulful, self-propelled album earned them national tours with Wild Flag, and The Head & The Heart.
In 2012, the band trimmed down to its three core members, entered the studio, and emerged with a new name, a recombined sense of purpose, and a record spun with the elbow grease and fervent drive that had first brought them together. Modern Kin’s debut was also the debut of Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney, Quasi) as producer. Basic tracks were recorded in eight days at the Hangar Studio in Sacramento, with engineer Bryce Gonzales (Devandra Banhart, The Breeders, Kurt Vile) before they returned home to their basement studio, to put the finishing touches on. Two of the tracks were mixed by Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Tame Impala.)
Since the album released (with an experimental release party that involved live-streaming 7 shows in 24 hours via YouTube) in October of 2013, Modern Kin has quickly experienced some regional success. The band has been invited to play most of the notable NW music festivals (Sasquatch, Music Fest NW, Bumbershoot, Treefort), as well as festivals outside of their home turf. The band was included in Portland’s annual Willamette Week “Best New Band” issue and has garnered attention from NPR, KEXP, and MTV as well as countless weekly newspapers and daily blogs. As Mark Baumgarten of the Seattle Weekly said after Modern Kin's first show together, "their electrifying performance in that dark underground club before a handful of people convinced me that Drew Grow is in fact destined for great things."