Track-by-Track: The Stanford Family Band’s Vibrantly Vintage Debut EP Is Here ‘For Your Listening Pleasure’

The Stanford Family Band © Milo Costelloe
The Stanford Family Band © Milo Costelloe
As catchy as it is charming, The Stanford Family Band’s debut EP ‘For Your Listening Pleasure’ soars with bright, bold, and buoyant energy as the Brighton-based quartet inject fresh passion into a vibrant, vintage pop sound.
for fans of The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Zombies, The Kinks
“Love Me a Bit” – The Stanford Family Band

You’d be forgiven if, like me, you initially mistook The Stanford Family Band for some long-lost relic of the 1960s.

From their name, to their music, to their look, the Brighton-based four-piece are unapologetically (and endearingly) retro – and to their credit, they wear it well. Though not actual blood relatives, the group blend warm harmonies and sweet melodies like only a close family can, cultivating a new “classic” sound on a debut EP that feels at once new and old, timely and timeless. As catchy as it is charming, the aptly-titled For Your Listening Pleasure soars with bright, bold, and buoyant energy as The Stanford Family Band inject fresh passion into a vibrant, vintage pop sound.

For Your Listening Pleasure - The Stanford Family Band
For Your Listening Pleasure – The Stanford Family Band
Time just figures it out
Said you wanted nothing
left for thinking about

Don’t you know that
I can’t live in doubt my darling
Watch you walk away
knowing I can’t stop it
I was waiting for nothing,
playing along a sad game waiting for you
Don’t you know
I’d love me a bit of that my darling
What you took away
now I can’t fall in love
‘Cos everything’s the same to me, lately
– “Love Me a Bit,” The Stanford Family Band

Released April 5, 2024 via Goo Records, For Your Listening Pleasure is a smile-inducing reverie. Six dynamic and dreamy range from Beach Boys-esque surf pop to Beatles-y bubblegum, Zombies-like psychedelia, grittier garage rock, and more. It’s a ’60s-inspired smorgasbord of sound, all put through the blender with a healthy dose of jingle-jangle drive and invigorating, youthful enthusiasm.

The Stanford Family Band © Milo Costelloe
The Stanford Family Band © Milo Costelloe

Comprised of Elliot Stanford (Keyboards, Guitar, Lead Vocals), Rory Lethbridge (Guitar, Vocals), Grace Kendall (Bass, Vocals), and Laurence Underwood (Drums, Vocals), The Stanford Family Band are old souls, but young at heart. Even their band name feels like a group pulled from the time warp – a deliberate decision they say they made as an homage to that beloved era.

“Rather self-indulgently, we used my last name despite it really being a group rather than a solo project,” frontman Elliot Stanford tells Atwood Magazine. “I just loved bands with that kind of name (The Cowsills are a great example), and we thought about making up a fake name, but it just felt weird.”

The EP’s title has a similar backstory. “I love the old cheesy titles records would have in the ‘60s that are essentially an advert in themselves,” Stanford smiles, “so I thought we could maybe trick a few people into giving it a go!”

The Stanford Family Band © Milo Costelloe
The Stanford Family Band © Milo Costelloe

Consider us hoodwinked; true to its name, For Your Listening Pleasure is a joyful, genuinely fun listen from end to end.

The Stanford Family Band introduce us to their multi-faceted, delightfully nostalgia-inducing musical identity through six stunningly seductive tracks full of sonic sunlight, irresistible hooks, and lyrical introspection.

For Your Listening Pleasure is essentially a snapshot of all we have been as a band until now. Some of the songs are very old, and some are very new. It’s like our CV for what we’re all about!” Elliot Stanford explains. “We just really wanted to capture a slice of who we are as a band and the music we love and the artists that inspire us! The objective was dead set from the very beginning.”

When prompted to describe the record in three words, he quickly replies, “please play loudly!” – and for what it’s worth, turning up the volume does reveal the intricacies within each track, whether it’s Grace Kendall’s spirited bass work on “Make My Day,” Rory Lethbridge’s searing guitar solos throughout “Sweep the Floor,” Laurence Underwood’s energetic drumming on “Nothing Like Something,” or the gorgeous background vocals on songs like opener “Your Chair,” lead single “Love Me a Bit,” or closer “On My Holiday.”

The Stanford Family Band © Milo Costelloe
The Stanford Family Band © Milo Costelloe

From end to end, For Your Listening Pleasure engages and enthralls.

It’s an impressively cohesive 18-minute joyride given the range of styles within – and while it’s easy to get lost in the rush of “Your Chair” or caught up in the feverish swagger of “Sweep the Floor,” every song gets its deserved time in the sun; that is to say, they all stand out on their own merits.

“It’s not my song, but ‘Nothing Like Something’ is my personal favorite,” Stanford says. “It’s like a lovely colloquialism that I hope one day is popular in the English-speaking vernacular!”

Fans of Help! and Rubber Soul-era Beatles songs like “I’ve Just Seen a Face,” “Act Naturally,” and “I’m Looking Through You” might fall especially quickly for the sun-soaked guitars and saccharine, up-tempo beat of “Nothing Like Something” – yet ultimately, it’s the full package that makes The Stanford Family Band one of our new favorites.

“I just hope listeners love it as much as we enjoyed making it!” Stanford shares. “The main thing I’ve taken away from the whole process is that I can’t wait to do it all again. We will be back as soon as possible. We love being in the studio with Harry Hayes, who engineered and co-produced with me and Laur. It’s always a great time, and we’ve got so many songs to be working on. It’s all very exciting!”

They may have  modeled themselves on music’s past, but The Stanford Family Band are here, today. Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside The Stanford Family Band’s For Your Listening Pleasure EP with Atwood Magazine as Elliot Stanford goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of their debut EP!

For Your Listening Pleasure is out now on Goo Records!

— —

:: stream/purchase For Your Listening Pleasure here ::
:: connect with The Stanford Family Band here ::
‘For Your Listening Pleasure’ – The Stanford Family Band

:: Inside For Your Listening Pleasure ::

For Your Listening Pleasure - The Stanford Family Band

— —

Your Chair

I’m always enamoured with how bands choose to open and close their albums, and I adore the slow opener leading to an explosion of sound. We really wanted to capture that with ‘Your Chair.’ “Venus and Mars” by Wings is my favourite example of that, and this song is inspired by that record.

Make My Day

Who doesn’t love that madly compressed jangle 12-string sound? I have an old Fakenbacker 12-string knocking around, and this song was calling for it as it’s a proper little cut-and-dry pop tune. Chuck a janky little slide guitar on the end, and the Harrison worship is all very clear.

Sweep The Floor

Probably the most rocking tune on the EP, ‘Sweep The Floor’ is the most slice-of-life tune I’ve written. I properly did my back in a while ago working a rubbish job I hated and was so frustrated I’d injured myself for absolute peanuts and an employer who couldn’t care less, and this popped out!

Love Me A Bit

This tune is probably the favourite I’ve written so far, and the response has been so kind from everyone, for which we are all very grateful. It’s clear more than anywhere else how much I adore Mr. Brian Wilson and his brand of happy music with sad lyrics. Layering the harmonies and keyboards was so much fun!

Nothing Like Something

Laur wrote this tune, so I can’t speak massively on where it came from, but both of us are huge Michael Nesmith worshippers, and this tune has that ‘Calico Girlfriend’ type of feel. It’s definitely the most fun to do live. God knows how he keeps that beat steady and sings at the same time; the man’s a whiz.

On My Holiday

This tune is our bread and butter. I actually wrote it a long time ago and had attempted to record it before, but this time it really came together. I think the lyrics are a little bit mean, to be honest, from the point of view of wanting to get away by yourself, leaving someone out of the fun, but it’s got this mega-happy backing track, which I just thought was funny.

— —

:: stream/purchase For Your Listening Pleasure here ::
:: connect with The Stanford Family Band here ::

— — — —

For Your Listening Pleasure - The Stanford Family Band

Connect to The Stanford Family Band on
Facebook, Instagram
Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
? © Milo Costelloe

For Your Listening Pleasure

an EP by The Stanford Family Band

More from Mitch Mosk
Feature: Timothy Edward Carpenter’s Brutally Honest & Breathtakingly Vulnerable ‘PREP SCHOOL’ EP
Timothy Edward Carpenter dives into the self-discovery and reckoning of his deeply...
Read More