Self Defense Family (formerly End of a Year and End of a Year Self Defense Family) are a post-punk collective with members spread across the US, UK, and Iceland. The band has released three full length albums (under the name End of a Year) and numerous EPs.
End of a Year started as a side project for Albany musicians already involved in full-time bands. Having spent time in heavier bands, the initial End of a Year line-up was interested in trying something more overtly melodic. Taking their name from an Embrace song, the band's original sound was highly influenced by the Revolution Summer-era DC bands.
The band recorded a boombox demo to give out at their first show, which took place at SUNY Albany. Shortly thereafter, a more formal demo entitled Warm was recorded. A full-length, Disappear Here, appeared on local labels Oneohfive and Losingface Records. The band later released a split 7" with western Massachusetts band Three Fifteen on another local label, Slave Union.
In the spring of 2009 the band released an EP for Deathwish Inc. and announced plans for a full-length release for the label. The subsequent LP You Are Beneath Me saw the band straining the boundaries of post-hardcore and shedding many of the influences found on earlier material.
In late 2010, the band announced that they would be "reformatting" the group to officially include all touring and session musicians they had worked with up to that point. That brings the number of active musicians in the band to over fifteen. Writing credits are shared equally among those who play on each release.
After the release of their 2010 album You Are Beneath Me, the group wanted to change their name to Self Defense. As an interim name to ease the transition between names, Self Defense went by the name End of a Year Self Defense Family, and occasionally Self Defense Music.
In early 2011, the band debuted the first of its "Island Series." Volume One: Jamaica was recorded at Tuff Gong Studio in Kingston, Jamaica. Released through Deathwish Inc, the single pushed a noisier and more plodding side of the band.
Volume Two: Iceland followed a year later and continued the themes found in Volume One. The EP was recorded at Sundlaugin Studio in Iceland.
The band has since announced plans for a Belfast recording.
“the simplicity behind the skeleton of the song feels more and more in control of the ship as the song floats along”
-Mind Equals Blown