Akron/Family calls Brooklyn home, but that means nothing to the geography of its sound. Love Is Simple, the quartet's fourth disc since 2005, is a very secluded and ceremonial mountain-valley experience.
At first Love Is Simple feels like just another pretty sing-along indie rock album. Then a belligerent surge of vocal gymnastics and thumping drums and horns transforms the disc into what sounds like a shamanistic cult expelling devils in a foggy forest of pine.
But Love Is Simple shouldn't be dismissed as hippie wackiness. Akron/Family's interplay reveals methodical guitar work, fluid melodies, and cleverly improvised rhythms. These traits form an underlying structure that melds together the disc's 11 tracks, some of which (including the suspenseful "Lake Song/New Ceremonial Music for Moms") are seven to eight minutes long.
Much like the stories of Kurt Vonnegut, whom Akron/Family references in the liner notes, the band's hypnotizing yet amusing lyrics communicate the impending dooms of fear and chemical toxicology, life questions, and the salvation of love. "But don't be afraid," they sing, "go out and love."