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8 Searchlight 2016 contestants who are keeping it all in the family
By
Holly Gordon

Published

April 11, 2016

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With more than 2,000 artists who entered this year’s edition of Searchlight, we understand that voters might get a little overwhelmed. So we’re trying to help: we have a Searchlight recommendation engine, and we’ve parsed out one-person bands and artists under 20. But if family bands are your jam (regardless of genre), you’ve come to the right place.

In the list below, we’ve highlighted eight standout artists who are keeping it all in the family — mainly siblings, but also an adorable father-daughter duo. Click through to learn more, and cast your votes accordingly.

Don't forget to watch, share and vote here.

Who: Safe as Houses
Song: "Heart in Our Lungs"

About: Brothers Andrew and Thomas Laughton are the family component of this band, which also includes Elliot Anton and Bensen Carter. Beautiful harmonies and the violin finger-plucking are highlights in this track, which reminds us a bit of Great Lake Swimmers. Listen to their Searchlight entry, “Heart in our Lungs,” now.


Who: Fallbrigade
Song: "Can't Stay"

About: I’m always a sucker for finger-snapping, and Fallbrigade has that in spades. The Vancouver Island folk-rock group was founded by brother-sister duo Caleb Scott and Esther Jungclaus and is reminiscent of the Lumineers, but with Esther’s vocals at the forefront. “Can’t Stay” starts quietly enough, but the build is beautifully intense, ending with the signature snap. Listen to the band's Searchlight entry, “Can’t Stay,” now.


Who: Stegall
Song: "Predator"

About: Watching Stegall's video for "Predator" is like time-warping to early ‘90s Cranberries through an ‘80s synth lens — and that is a definite compliment. The three sisters stand in unison throughout, their voices supporting each other while playing and dancing in sync. It's all a dark delight. Listen to the band's Searchlight entry, “Predator,” now.


Who: Mushy Callahan
Song: "Nobody Told Me"

About: This crew is literally all in the family, consisting of brothers Noah, Joel, Jacob and Lucas. Mushy Callahan has only existed for three years, but so far the indie rock band already has an EP and a full-length. Listen to the band's Searchlight entry, “Nobody Told Me,” now.


Who: Sister Says
Song: "Heart Placement"

About: Fronted by siblings Gillian and Robert Thomson, Sister Says is a catchy, bluesy band with pop sensibilities. They have some experience on the summer festival circuit, having opened for both Stars and Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. Listen to the band's Searchlight entry, “Heart Placement,” now.


Who: The Argues
Song: "The Best is Yet to Be"

About: Sisters Sabrina (15) and Lauren Argue (18) are singers, guitar and keyboard players with equal measures of talent and confidence onstage. What’s not to love? Listen to their Searchlight entry, “The Best is Yet to Be,” now.


Who: Mikky and Alex
Song: "Too Young to Settle"

About: Twin sisters Mikky and Alex write, produce and perform their synth-pop tunes, and have just released their sophomore EP, Popular. If you dig this dark dance jam, look out for them at this year’s Canadian Music Week in Toronto. Listen to their Searchlight entry, “Too Young to Settle,” now.


Who: The Sveistrups
Song: "Inside my Mind"

About: The Sveistrups are Emma and her dad, singing in Emma’s Owl’s Nest, which is where she hosts her YouTube show, The Owl’s Nest. The song is simple — just an acoustic guitar and Emma’s vocals, backed by her dad — but Emma’s voice stands out. It’s also highly adorable — listen to their Searchlight entry, “Inside my Mind,” now.