Oh, Hear the Wind Blow
The West Coast, indie feel to the Chapin Sister’s album Oh, Hear the Wind Blow could easily have made it my pick for this year’s perfect summer album. Sadly, it’s September as I write this, and soon flip-flops will make way for boots. However, I suggest you squeeze the last rays out of summer with this album.
The Sisters are nieces of musician Harry Chapin and the daughters of Tom Chapin. Their musical family and the thorough musical training they received as a result shines in their pieces. Simple instrumentation, easy-going rhythms, and the sisters’ reedy and mellow harmonies carry on the tradition of American music while incorporating a modern-folk-pop flavor. On some tracks, Abigail and Lily are joined by their other sister, Jessica Craven. Their instrumentalists are The Brothers Brothers: Dan Horne on bass, Louis Stephens on the keys, and Aaron Sperske on the drums.
Their tambourines and “ooh wa’s” on “Left All Alone,” echo the style of Zooey Deschanel, currently in vogue as the lead singer of the band She + Him (with whom the Sisters toured this last spring). The lilting melody and Stephens’ stylings on the keyboard of “Let Me Go” and the slowly rollicking guitar progression on “Palm Tree” drew upon the sound of their uncle’s generation. The exposed melody and chant line of “Digging a Hole,” combined with the almost tribal percussion stands out as the most unique song on the album. The lyrics are worth a listen as well, drawing on an attitude of strength and folk-inspired images of the natural world.
From the lovely handmade appearance of the cover art to the familiar and familial bond of perfect harmony, this album carries the Chapin signature and fuses it with the new era of American music.