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CIM was born 2008, upon the creation of its debut album “On The Edge of a Dream”. It was the culmination of Winn’s decision to discontinue college and instead record a record. He was joined by recent Oberlin graduate and longtime musical partner/childhood friend Sam Krulewitch in his Santa Barbara hills home, where much to the dismay of their roommates the two spent eight months writing and recording their debut together. After recording “Dream” and feeling limited in the small city of Santa Barbara the two moved back home with their parents in Portland. Winn recruited a full band to bring the record alive and made a go at the local Portland scene in 2008/2009. Playing anywhere and everywhere they could, touring the west coast, but still feeling stagnate due day job commitments and band troubles, in a time where Krulewitch was secretly struggling with alcoholism. In spring 2009 Krulewitch checked himself into rehabilitation and Winn found himself without a band, writing partner, purpose or direction. Such events inspired and left Winn no choice but to find a way out of Portland. He recruited two new members from California including ex disgruntled roommate Rob Moreno and current drummer Graham Roggli and took CIM on a nationwide 43 day 41 show tour that saw them playing just about every major city in the country.
The Family Crest began as a collaborative recording project in 2008 with a vision to change the way music is made. Gathering friends, fans, musicians, and non-musicians alike, the group began to record an album in bars, churches, streets, and other unconventional locations. Their collaborative approach to music making quickly grew steam, evolving by February 2010 into a fully-formed orchestral indie rock band with over two hundred and fifty ‘Extended Family Members’ participating in recordings, live performances, and media projects.
Fusing rock, jazz, folk and classical genres, the band’s rich, epic sound has been compared to Arcade Fire, Fleet Foxes, and Beirut. MadeLoud.com proclaims, “the music they make is sweeping, wall-of-sound indie rock that alludes to fellow strings-adorned bands like Tindersticks and Arcade Fire, but The Family Crest establishes their own Left Coast identity, nodding to ’60s San Francisco Baroque pop and timeless folk-rock, as well. This is lush and intricate music, demanding the breadth of a full-length release.” The San Francisco Chronicle says, “while vying to collect more musicians onstage than the Decemberists or Arcade Fire, The Family Crest harbors an affection for Burt Bacharach-style swingin’ romanticism that is sure to impress lovers of classical pop.” According to The Bay Bridged, “they take their earnest, anthemic cue from The Arcade Fire, but the presence of so many string and wind instruments and the talents of frontman Liam McCormick put them on a unique frequency.”