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Opinion | Believe victims even if you don’t like them
Opinion | Believe victims even if you don’t like them
By Delaney Rauscher Adams, Staff Columnist • July 12, 2024
Opinion | Women pop stars and the pressure to evolve
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 10, 2024

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Opinion | Believe victims even if you don’t like them
Opinion | Believe victims even if you don’t like them
By Delaney Rauscher Adams, Staff Columnist • July 12, 2024
Opinion | Women pop stars and the pressure to evolve
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 10, 2024

“It’s Horny”: Brass and soul blow us away in Lawrence’s latest album “Family Business”

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Image via Wikimedia Commons

I bought Atlanta tickets to the “Family Business” tour long before the NYC-based, sibling-led soul, funk and pop band, Lawrence, released their “Family Business” album. But this past Friday, June 21, the long-awaited Lawrence album finally dropped, and I have only two questions — where else can I see the band live, and how can I convince them to add Pittsburgh to their tour?

I have been a longtime fan of Lawrence ever since discovering their discography in the basement of an old friend and previous musical partner back in 2019. I stumbled across “Do You Wanna Do Nothing With Me?” from their first 2016 album “Breakfast.” I loved the horns, vibes and unrestrained talent of lead singers Gracie Lawrence and Clyde Lawrence.

Fortunately, my friend said that “Do You Wanna Do Nothing With Me?” was only scratching the surface and introduced me to the “Alibi” and “Shot” from the same album, along with “The Heartburn Song” and “Probably Up” from their 2018 album “Living Room.” “Casualty” dropped around then too, and I have been hooked on their music ever since, performing their music publicly and privately for half a decade. As a singer and musician, I can only hope to hold even just a fraction of the talent in their pinky fingers.

Their talent and expert musicianship was evident in their 2021 album “Hotel TV,” and they continue to shine during “Family Business.” Gracie Lawrence’s jazzy soprano excellence and Clyde’s deeper, sultry tone are certainly amplified on each song. However, “Family Business” puts in the work to highlight their incredible band members, including bassist Michael Karsh’s vibey riffs and brass lineup Sumner Becker, Jordan Cohen and Marc Langer’s horny additions. This album has something for everyone to enjoy.

Kicking off the album with Gracie Lawrence’s unbelievable vibrato and talent in “Whatcha Want” shows the sibling-led band means business. The good vibes and horny interludes continue through “Hip Replacement,” which is a personal favorite with a catchy chorus and stellar instrumentalism. As someone who has seen Lawrence live two times, I already know this track will be otherworldly live.

For how great Lawrence sounds through headphones or a car speaker, it is clear this album is meant to be heard live. Having seen them twice on stage, I know that is where Lawrence’s talents truly lie. 

Upon my first listen-through, I was let down by their use of repeating choruses to extend songs. I was hoping for some more lyricism and more of their witty songwriting. However, while I was scrolling their Instagram after my first listen-through,  I stumbled across a video of one of Lawrence’s favorite stage tricks. A video on their now-expired Instagram story showed Clyde Lawrence reaching around guitarist Jonny Koh to play his guitar while Koh reaches around Karsh to play his bass guitar all the while Karsh plays the keyboard in front of him. For all the talent this band has in the studio, they are simply next-level live, and “Family Business” is an album certainly meant to be heard live. While many of their new songs lack in a lyrical sense, I am confident the band will make up for it whilst performing live, making these somewhat mundane moments via a phone speaker complete showstoppers on stage. I can only imagine the chaos that will ensue during these repetitions. While I dream of extended versions of “The Weather” and “Funeral,” I am alright sacrificing long-winded songs for outstanding live moments.

While I can easily imagine Gracie Lawrence twirling around on stage during “Guy I Used To Be” and “I’m Confident That I’m Insecure,” nothing will compare to seeing “Death of Me” and “Funeral” live. While Lawrence certainly excels with the funky, horny songs they’re known for, their ballads and quote-unquote “sad songs” are my favorite to listen to both live and recorded. Their ballad “Death of Me” is a showstopper and one I would pay good money to make sure is on the tour setlist. Similar to “The Weather” from Hotel TV, “Funeral” hits you where it hurts, discussing regrets and thoughts one has while sitting at their own funeral.

One highlight of this album is the siblings sharing many of the songs, rather than each song having a solo sibling lead. While there are a slew of Clyde-led and Gracie-led songs, many of the album’s highlights come from the power duo trading off, like in the third song “Do,” or simply showing off how easily their voices harmonize, like on the titular song “Family Business.”

“Family Business” is easily the album of the summer for me. This new edition to their discography is vocally interesting, musically complex and, most importantly, going to excel live. I was fortunate enough to see “23” live before the song had reached streaming services, and it is clear that Lawrence really created an album celebrating the band’s talents, amplifying that their prowess is really in the teamwork. It truly is a family business.

I’ve been scream-singing “I’m Confident That I’m Insecure,” “23” and “Guy I Used to Be” for months now, and I am so happy “Family Business” rounds it all out to be my favorite album by them to date.

Lawrence, if you are reading this — please come to Pittsburgh!

About the Contributor
Livia LaMarca
Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor
Livia LaMarca is a senior political science and sociology student from outside of Chicago. You can often find her studying for the LSAT and drinking copious amounts of coffee. Her hobbies include singing, crocheting & knitting, Marvel movies, and hanging with her dog Leo (who she misses very much). She enjoys writing about American political discourse and U.S. pop culture with a particular passion for social justice and equitable social programs. Livia's email —  — is always open if you'd like to share your own opinions or respond to an opinion column of hers.