Bands made up of family members are in no way a new phenomenon, and with notable family bands such as The Jackson 5, The Kinks, The Beach Boys and more recent genetically tied groups such as Hanson and Oasis, it's clear that family ties bring a little extra magic to an act's art. And today, with groups like The Avett Brothers and Tegan and Sara, it's often very clear when musicians share a bond beyond their love for music. However, there are a great deal of sibling duos and trios who are making their parents proud by writing hits and selling out venues that may not seem so obviously related. So we think it's time that we take a closer look at some of these bands that are made up of the ties that bind.
1. Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire is made up of so many members that even if you call yourself a fan of the Canadian indie rockers, you may not know the names of the band's members, let alone understand their relationships, but we're here to help. The band was founded back in 2001 by lead vocalist Win Butler and Regine Chassagne, and in 2003, Win brought in his multi-instrument playing brother William. To add to the family love, Win and Regine married in 2003, solidifying Arcade Fire's kindred foundation.
When most people think of Radiohead, the first member who comes to mind is the cerebral lyricist Thom Yorke. But along with Yorke, drummer Phil Selway, and guitarist Ed O'Brien, Radiohead is graced by the musical presence of brothers Johnny and Colin Greenwood, who have been rocking out on guitar and bass, respectively, since the band's inception 19 years ago.
3. The National
After being a critical darling for years, The National has finally entered the limelight, but not many people know about the genetic intricacies of the band. Backing up lead singer Matt Berninger are identical twins and composing masters Bryce Dressner, who plays guitar and Aaron Dressner, who plays guitar and keyboard. In the rhythm section, the band has Scott Devendorf on bass and his brother Byran Devendorf on drums. If sibling pairings add a little extra magic to a band's chemistry, then The National must be doubly blessed thanks to its two sets of brothers.
If you didn't already know this band was made up of sisters, it still might not come as that much of a surprise considering that all three girls have the same gene that gives them unimaginably beautiful, flowing hair — I'm talking the kind of hair we haven't seen since when those Hanson brothers were in their prime. Comprised of lead singer Danielle, oldest sister Este on bass and youngest sister Alana on guitar, HAIM has been bringing their effortless LA pop across the globe for years, and sharing their adorably affectionate sisterly love in the process.
5. First Aid Kit
Another sister act is the Swedish fold duo First Aid Kit, which is made up of Johanna Soderberg and her younger sister Klara. In a world full of sibling rivalries, these wide-eyed songstresses manage to avoid normal sister squabbles and come together to make soaring harmonies that have been bewitching audiences worldwide for years.
Frightened Rabbit initially started out as the solo project of singer and guitarist Scott Hutchinson, but he must have thought something was missing, and that link was his own brother Grant, who Scott brought in on drums in 2006 for the Scottish indie rockers' first studio album. Fun fact: the band's name comes from what Scott's mother called him when he was a kid because of his overwhelming shyness, and Momma Hutchinson's contribution to her sons' work makes the family bonds of the band seem all the stronger.
Although lead vocalist Matt Shultz and guitarist Brad Shultz are the only true brothers in Cage the Elephant, two other band members grew up with the Shultz boys in Kentucky, so these four rockers must all know a thing or two about brotherly love. And the innate connection between the members is helping the pop rockers continue to make radio friendly tracks with a seamless, hardcore attitude backing up their work.
8. Nickel Creek
This acoustic folk outfit has probably one of the most adorable formation stories out there. The band's guitarist Sean Watkins and mandolinist Chris Thile met when they were kids after having music lessons from the same instructor. And at the ages of nine and 12 Thile and Watkins (respectively) decided to form a band, and Watkins brought in his younger sister Sara on violin. Nickel Creek has been playing together for 25 years, so I think it's fair to say that at this point, Thile is probably an honorary Watkins brother.
9. The Orwells
This punk rock group is another band with honorary family members, along with its multiple sets of true family ties. Lead singer Mario Cuomo and guitarist Dominic Corso are cousins, and went to high school with twin brothers Grant and Henry Brinner, who play bass and drums, respectively. The odd one out in The Orwells is guitarist Matt O'Keeke, but he has been family friends with the other members for years. And all of the families are said to have ancestors who were part of English royalty, so it seems as though these boys were almost prophesied to blow our minds with their garage rock.
Musicality seems to be a prerequisite for Savage boys, as Parquet Courts is comprised of two of its family members: Andrew on lead vocals and Max on drums. And although men sharing the name Savage who are part of a punk rock band seem like they must ooze pure masculinity, these brothers must have a sentimental side if they are capable of creating such great music together.
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