Le Loup Family

Dark and densely orchestrated indie rock is nothing new, but, like their twist on the whole "Wolf" band name phenomenon (Mother, Parade, Eyes), Le Loup come at things from a slightly different angle. Restraint is the key to Family's success ― the DC sextet leave space where most bands would cram in as much instrumentation as possible. The result is a surprisingly taut album. Even more intriguing is that while the band are led by banjoist Sam Simkoff, any traces of the roots or alt-country sound that so many bands have adopted recently are absent. In fact, while the instrument is present on almost every track, it's never the focus. Instead, Family is an album of rich harmonies mixed with heavy rhythms reminiscent of a post-Pet Sounds Beach Boys. (Hardly Art)