When you hear the name "von Trapp," the lyrics to "My Favorite Things" probably pop in your head, or an image of Julie Andrews dutifully teaching children "Do-Re-Mi."
Google "von Trapp," and halfway down the page, a different link appears, hawking a new EP titled "Dancing in Gold." No, it's not an outtake from The Sound of Music. Turns out, the descendants of Austria's most famous singing family have formed a contemporary indie pop band, with danceable, folksy tunes inspired by Sufjan Stevens, Blind Pilot, and Fleet Foxes.
"A lot of people are very eager to make it a traumatic thing, like we're rebelling against our family," Amanda von Trapp says. "Our whole message of why we did this is because we want to carry on the legacy of our family in a positive way, we wanted to add to it."
The four singers — Amanda, 23; Melanie, 25; Sofia, 26; and August, 20 — are descendants of Werner von Trapp, who was portrayed as the youngest son, Kurt, in the classic 1965 film. "Our grandfather would come to Montana to teach us folk songs that he grew up with," Amanda says. "So we grew up with that, and we started touring 14 years ago, sometimes performing on the same stage as our grandfather did 50 years ago."
After years of performing classic Austrian folk songs, however, the band moved to Portland and started writing original music, culminating in a new EP which comes out today. Still, listen to their single and you'll hear their Sound of Music upbringing in the solid harmonies and hummable melodies. Which is all to say, the von Trapps have returned. Click through to see the von Trapp family through the ages, from the original singing troupe to today's generation.