Written by: Jen Dan
Brothers Frankie, Michael, and Patrick O’Malley not only share blood ties, but a musical connection all well as the core members of the rock ‘n’ roll/folk band The Safes. The Chicago-located act release their latest album, Winning Combination, on September 7th via Action Weekend and Bickerton Records.
The Safes will also kick off a U.S. tour in mid-September that takes them across the Northeast and through the end of November (Tour Dates below).
Winning Combination is a new construction for the O’Malley brothers where they build upon being a band of siblings – literally. For this album The Safes brought in an orchestra consisting of their very talented nieces, nephews, and cousins.
The grand total is a passel of 19 brothers and sisters, who all bring their diverse and talented instrumentation to the album. Every note of music played was performed by two or more sets of related siblings performing together, from one song to the next.
When it was time to record the album, the brothers kept the family connection going by self-recording Winning Combination at their own StudiO’Malley and mixed the LP with their longtime collaborator Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Iron & Wine).
On Winning Combination, The Safes go back to traditional folk roots, steeping their sincere lyrics in a variety of instrumentation, ear-catching harmonies, and sharp songwriting.
Blooming with engaging, vintage ’60s and ’70s-inspired folk-rock, but buzzing with a modern vitality, The Safes deliver a tuneful, traditional, and reflective to sweeping album. LP-opener and lead single “It True” is a jauntily paced number with brisk acoustic guitar strum, tick-tocking clock rhythms, and occasional accordion pulls and piano notes.
Harmonizing vocals, quiet piano plink, supple bass, drawn strings, and a loping tempo run through “Open Your Eyes”, while second single “Baggage Claim” dances with brighter keyboard notes and a breezy guitar strum. Sparkling piano plunk and a mellifluous guitar line inform “Dreams That Ignite”, which fires up with strong vocal harmonies on the chorus sections.
“The Shell Spell” is a laid-back piano and guitar-based tune, “Ship Sinking Grin” is a soulful slowburn, and album-closer “Simplicity” resounds with guitar reverberations and wistful vocals.
09-17 – The Spirit – Pittsburgh, PA
09/18 – Chronic Town – State College, PA
09/19 – Barbary – Philadelphia, PA
09/20 – Slash Run – Washington, DC
09/21 – Hampdenfest – Baltimore, MD
09/21 – Quinns – Beacon, NY
09/22 – Cafe Nine – New Haven, CT
09/23 – Pianos – New York City, NY
09/24 – Lizard Lounge – Cambridge, MA
09/25 – Asbury Park Hotel – Asbury Park, NJ
09/26 – Cult Classic Brewery – Kent Island, MD
09/27 – The Summit – Columbus, OH
09/28 – Buzzbin – Canton, OH
10/11 – Circle A – Milwaukee, WI
10/12 – PABS – Stevens Point, WI
10/25 – Mickeys – Madison, WI
10/26 – Eagles 34 – Minneapolis, MN
11/02 – The Ruin – Ft. Wayne, IN
11/09 – Wayout Club – St. Louis, MO
11/16 – Lyric Room – Green Bay, WI
11/22 – WLUW on The Razor and Die show – Chicago, IL
11/23 – The Comet – Cincinnati, OH
11/27 – Beat Kitchen – Chicago, IL
Find out more about The Safes: