The Kopecky Family Band very well may be one of the best-kept secrets of 2012. Which, really, doesn't say much about anyone's ability to keep secrets, as the they've kind been all over the place this year.
Formed in 2007, the troupe from Nashville was a slow-roller in the sense they had already released debut EP Embraces, the aforementioned double EP - and were well on their way to releasing their first full-length (Kids Raising Kids, October 2012) by the time they really seemed to get the push for press.
Keeping with the trend of being multi-instrumentalists under the banner of a false moniker (as seen recently by acts like Mumford and Sons and Milo Greene) The Kopecky Family consists of six musicians who seem to be able to play any type of instrument you throw their way - drums, keys, guitars, electric and upright bass - and a slew of bells and whistles. Also, they're not ACTUALLY related, in any shape or form.Using vocalist/keyboardist Kelsey Kopecky's surname as a uniting factor, the act's headlining stop at the Tractor found them delivering a new batch of sing-song-y tunes a-la The Head and The Heart or the Lumineers (the latter of which they toured with last year) - with less twang and a lot more fervor.
The set was more upbeat than their recordings might suggest - most of which poke at dreamy, lost in the woods type sentiment. Live, the thundering percussion, unexpected horn interludes and spot on blending of vocals proved warm and inclusive, well seasoned by 5-plus years on the road.
While vocalist/guitarist Gabe Simon may look a bit like a modern day, sweater-wearing Buddy Holly, his vocals are rooted in Nashville, and framed by the homegrown, Southern nature of their arrangements - made all the more obvious in popular tracks "Animal" and "Are You Listening?"
The music is emotive, the lyrics raw and the themes vulnerable and varied. Some songs have you clapping and stomping your feet, others are creeping and thoughtful - but all of them have you feeling warm and cozy.
Although they may not be a real family, you kind of get the sense they might as well be, and that they'd be completely open to letting you join.