The Chapin Sisters
Unlike a number of retro-styled acts who adopt a familial name in the name of an ironic laugh, the Los Angeles-based Chapin Sisters really are siblings and have a long family history in music. Abigail Chapin and Lily Chapin are the daughters of folksinger Tom Chapin, and their uncle was the late singer/songwriter Harry Chapin; their mother, Bonnie Broecker, was previously married to filmmaker Wes Craven, and her daughter (and Abigail and Lily's stepsister) Jessica Craven rounds out the group. Abigail, Lily, and Jessica were raised together in New York City and appeared on a series of records for children that Tom Chapin recorded as they were growing up, while Jessica did occasional voice work for commercials, but the sisters didn't begin seriously pursuing a career in music together until they relocated to Los Angeles in 2004. Singing in lovely three-part harmonies and often backed with little more than their acoustic guitars, the Chapin Sisters developed a reputation both for their intelligent, introspective original songs and their witty way with a cover tune, performing songs by Madonna, the Smiths, and Britney Spears with a gentle folkie clarity that belies their original interpretations. The sisters made their recording debut with a demo EP released in 2006 (which featured their often-requested version of Spears' "Toxic"), and a split LP with the group Winter Flowers was released by Manimal Vinyl in 2007. The Lake Bottom LP, the Chapin Sisters' first full-length album, was issued by Plain Recordings in the spring of 2008. In 2010, Craven left the group, and the remaining duo of Abigail and Lily Chapin toured with She & Him (Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward), singing backup and opening some of their shows. That September, the Chapin Sisters released their second LP, Two. The cover album Date with the Everly Brothers followed in 2013, and, with a full band on board, the Americana- and soft rock-impacted Today's Not Yesterday was written after and partly inspired by the sisters' move from Los Angeles back home to New York. It was issued in October 2015 via Smith Music Group. ~ Mark Deming
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