For Fans Of: The Civil Wars, Lumineers, other pop acts who think like folkies (or vice-versa).
Why You Should Pay Attention: Irish émigré Jimmy Brown, his North Carolina wife Ashlee Hardee Brown, and her brothers Jordan and C.J. all gave up solo pursuits to join a harmonizing family band configured (and occasionally sounding) like Arcade Fire. Landing a deal with Columbia out of the gate, they cut their debut LP with Nashville country-rock alchemist Jay Joyce. The upshot is a record as suitable for a back porch as a basketball arena – see the soaring, mandolin-driven "Southern Skies," or the fat drums and wolf howls of "Lucky Man."
They Say: "The first time Ashlee and I ever met, we wrote a song together that we never released, called 'All I Want,'" recalls Jimmy Brown. "We had both seen the same movie about a man and woman falling in love – some English period piece, I can't remember what it was called ˆ so we decided to base a song on that. We laugh about it now, because that's exactly what happened to us."
Hear for Yourself: A semi-unplugged "Southern Skies," hollered from a boat on the Colorado River in Austin, Texas, during SXSW. By Will Hermes