Listen: The Family Crest’s new song “She Knows My Name”

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In the grand tradition of acts like Broken Social Scene and The Polyphonic Spree, San Francisco orchestral rock outfit The Family Crest utilize a sizable roster of guests and collaborators. By their count, there are over 400 members in their “Extended Family,” a growing list that includes anyone who has ever played an instrument or lent their voice to a chorus. (The credits for their various releases often stretch four-plus pages.)

Since reconvening every Family member would be a logistical nightmare, they maintained the core lineup of seven classically trained musicians to handle the brunt of their sophomore album, Beneath the Brine, due out February 25th via Tender Loving Empire. Spanning 12 tracks, the collective recorded much of the effort in public spaces such as churches and people’s front yards.

“We live in a very disconnected age,” said flute player Laura Bergmann. “So it’s a really special experience to have a recording session in a cafe that’s open to the public and to sing next to people you’ve never met before, doing something together that’s tangible and very meaningful.” Added lead singer Liam McCormick, “This record is like listening to the last two years of my life. All of my best friends that I’ve met are in one place, together.”

For a taste of the album, the collective have unveiled “She Knows My Name”. Grandiose in their own right, the one-two punch of densely layered harmonies and sweeping strings serve only to lift up the impassioned croon of McCormick, whose repetition of “She knows my name” varies between playful disbelief to a kind of existential mantra. Equal parts quaint indie pop ballad and epic orchestral maneuver, the song radiates both theatrical pomp and heartwarming intimacy.

Beneath the Brine Tracklist:
01. Beneath the Brine
02. The World
03. Love Don’t Go
04. William’s Dirge
05. Howl
06. The Water’s Fine
07. I Am The Winter
08. She Knows My Name
09. As We Move Forward
10. When the Lights Go Out
11. There’s A Thunder
12. Make Me A Boat

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