Sister Act

Lily and Abigail Chapin leave jaws dropped with their endearing release “Two.”

Sally Hedberg

WHAT: Chapin Sisters with Rooney

WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 6, 7 p.m.

WHERE: Station 4, 201 E. 4th St.

COST: $15

 

When it comes to modern interpretations of classic folk, itâÄôs best kept all in the family. Sisters Lily and Abigail Chapin have taken note, and theyâÄôve tightened their already close family bonds by adding guitars, microphones and piano. The dreamy sister-act will carry their ethereal harmonies to the Twin Cities this Sunday.

Like so many contributions to humanity do, it all began with Britney Spears. Sisters Lily and Abigail Chapin may have been raised in the household of a Grammy-winning father, Tom Chapin; they may have fallen in love with music at a young age and dabbled in collaboration from time to time; but really, it wasnâÄôt until their older brother influenced them to spend some time at an L.A. studio, sparking a cover of âÄúToxic,âÄú that their familial musical potential was truly actualized.

âÄúIt was something that kind of happened by accident,âÄù Lily Chapin said. âÄúThe invisible thread was always there but sometimes you need someone on the outside to give you that push.âÄù

Since embracing their striking musical powers, the gals have created something truly unique in the realm of female-fronted folk: music structured upon complex vocal arrangements more typical of a chamber choir than of a duo. ItâÄôs an ambitious feat that the talented women conduct flawlessly.

ItâÄôs clear that the fact that they posses the same genes has something to do with the otherworldly way their voices mesh into sprawling, haunting harmonies. You canâÄôt really categorize it as pop, yet you canâÄôt deny its catchy tendencies either. ItâÄôs simply The Chapin Sisters, and it is damngood.

âÄúThe vocal harmonies are the core and thatâÄôs because itâÄôs what we grew up loving,âÄù Lily said. âÄúWe donâÄôt limit ourselves to being acoustic or electric or rock or pop or indie or folk. WeâÄôre very open to letting the songs be what they want to be.âÄù

To record their latest album, âÄúTwo,âÄù which was released in September, the band sought to seclude themselves during the entire process in rural New Jersey. The remote intrigue of this influence is channeled through the music and the listener is transported to a realm of timeless folk, the kind thatâÄôs simple in subject matter but emotionally loaded in its sonic delivery.

âÄúI look back to the pioneers of all the different genres,âÄù Lily said. âÄúWe have so many role models. So many amazing women in music have come before us.âÄù

Just before the release of âÄúTwo,âÄù the sisters were coming off of an American tour with She & Him. They plan on carrying this tour all the way through to summer and hope to hit some of the summer festival circuit as well, inevitably begging the question: How much time can you spend with your kin?

âÄúI think itâÄôs both sides of the coin,âÄù Lily said. âÄúMaybe it makes life a little more dramatic, but the highs can be even better. ThereâÄôs nothing like singing with your sister.âÄù

ItâÄôs true; thereâÄôs nothing quite like Lily Chapin singing with her sister.