New Akron/Family – “Gone Beyond”

Last spring, we were so blown away by psych-folk band Akron/Family’s self-titled debut, we made ‘em a Band To Watch. Since then, amid a marathon tour the band squeezed in some new recordings during chaotic Chicago studio sesions. The fruits of Ak Ak’s labor come to us 9/25 with the release of Meek Warrior. The album, which features contributions from legendary jazz percussionist Hamid Drake and members of Do Make Say Think and Broken Social Scene, switches gears from plaintive country to tribal jams to wacky jazz. But mostly, you’ll hear beautiful acoustic freak folk with head-scratching lyrics. I know, “freak folk” — so overused. But this folk music is freaky. And Animal Collective is a suitable reference point.

Michael from Young God Records is letting Stereogum premiere the stunning “Gone Beyond.” Here’s how he describes it: “‘Gone Beyond’ is the sort of palliative hymn I’d love to hear while suddenly finding myself drifting through the universe having unexpectedly jettisoned the meat-grinder of earthly existence.” Uh, us too. (FYI — this is the most accessible song on the album. We didn’t want to scare you off with the ten-minute opener “Blessing Force,” which concludes with a brass band’s execution. Or Seth stepping on someone’s trumpet.)

Akron/Family – “Gone Beyond” (MP3)

Meek Warrior is priced especially low so buy it. And, if you’re new to the Family, stream Stereogum’s favorite three songs from their last album at MySpace.