Chapin Sisters

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Chapin Sisters
The Chapin Sisters performing in San Diego, California on December 7, 2009. From left to right: Abigail Chapin, Lily Chapin.
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California
Genres Folk, Psychedelic, Pop music
Years active 2004–present
Labels Lake Bottom Records, Plain Recordings
Members Abigail Chapin
Lily Chapin
Past members Jessica Craven

The Chapin Sisters are an American folk-rock and harmony duo from New York, NY. The band consists of sisters Abigail and Lily Chapin, and formerly their half-sister Jessica Craven. Their sound blurs the lines between old-time Appalachian music, classic country-rock and pop.[1]

Early life[edit]

Abigail and Lily were born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in the Hudson Valley. They sang professionally from an early age, first on their dad Tom Chapin's children's records,[2] which led to jobs on other children's records, including The Olson Twins "Brother For Sale" and "I am the cute one."[1] They also sang onstage in benefit and tribute concerts honoring their uncle,[2] the late singer and activist Harry Chapin along with other members of their family, including cousin Jen Chapin and their sister Jessica.

By 2004 all three had relocated to Los Angeles, (Lily Chapin was working on a film directed by Barbara Kopple[3]). They began their band at the urging of their half-brother Jonathan Craven who arranged for them to record at the home studio of Michael Fitzpatrick (of the band Fitz and The Trantrums). Before they had ever played a show together or considered themselves a band, their slow, acoustic version of Britney Spears' song "Toxic" gained attention and radio play around the country, especially on by Anne Litt of Los Angeles' KCRW where it became one of the most requested songs of 2004.[4] Following this unexpected success, The Chapin Sisters began to play concerts in Los Angeles, and the sisters also started writing music together—songs that would eventually become their first full-length album.[5]

The Lake Bottom LP[edit]

Spurred by the sudden interest in their singing abilities, they put together a collection of songs and, on March 18, 2008, they released their debut full-length album Lake Bottom LP on the Plain Recordings label. Initially, the album was only released as a vinyl record though a compact disc version soon followed.

Many of the music reviews by critics were positive, as "they haunt the interstices of folk, pop, and blues, and play seductive games with the knife-edge of heartache. Their soft harmonies and dark sidelong lyrics fit perfectly into a new folk aesthetic that is more twisted than freaky." according to, and "their music blends the harmonies of traditional sister-acts with a modern lyrical sensibility." FLAVORPILL of San Francisco wrote "The one virtue the Chapin Sisters shares with classic sister acts of old becomes apparent when they sing together: that shiver of spotless, familial unity that makes every syllable woundingly poignant."

2010, the departure of Jessica, and 'Two'[edit]

In early 2010 Jessica took a "leave of absence" and left the band to spend time with her newborn baby, and Lily and Abigail, now a duo, set out on tour with the folk pop duo She & Him, consisting of M. Ward and actress Zooey Deschanel, singing back-up vocals, and opening many of the shows as well.

In April, 2010 The Chapin Sisters released a five song EP called "Oh Hear the Wind Blow, " which was recorded live in the studio with Dan Horne as engineer and bass player, and Aaron Sperske on drums.

On September 14, 2010, Abigail and Lily released their second full-length album "Two" on their own label, Lake Bottom Records. The album was produced by the sisters, along with Louie Stephens of Rooney and Jesse Lee of Gang Gang Dance.[6]

A Date With the Everly Brothers[edit]

On April 23, 2013, 'A Date With the Everly Brothers' was released as a full-length album tribute to The Everly Brothers. It was funded via a successful Kickstarter campaign that ended up raising over 150% of the band's goal.[7]

Today's Not Yesterday[edit]

The band announced on their website and via Kickstarter that they'll be releasing a new full-length album of original songs titled 'Today's Not Yesterday' in October 2015.[8] The 12-song album was recorded in Los Angeles at Jonathan Wilson's Five-Star studio with the help of producers Dan Horne and Jesse Lee.


Studio records[edit]

Year Album Label Peak chart positions
2004 The Chapin Sisters Sing the Chapin Brothers Sundance Music
2005 The Chapin Sisters EP Lake Bottom Records
2007 The Chapin Sisters/The Winter Flowers: Split LP Manimal Vinyl
2008 Lake Bottom LP Plain Recordings/Lake Bottom Records
2010 Two Lake Bottom Records
Oh, Hear the Wind Blow Lake Bottom Records
2013 A Date With the Everly Brothers Lake Bottom Records 14
2015 Today's Not Yesterday Lake Bottom Records

Featured appearances[edit]

Year Song Album With Artist
2014 "Unchained Melody" Classics She & Him


  1. ^ a b "The Chapin Sisters | SPIN". Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  2. ^ a b Hendrickson, Tad. "A Lifetime of Harmonies". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  3. ^ Indiewire. "Kopple and the Women of Woods Hole Film Festival". Indiewire. Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  4. ^ "The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers". Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  5. ^ "PAPERMAG: Beautiful People 2006: The Chapin Sisters". Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  6. ^ "Magnet Magazine". Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  7. ^ "Date with the Everly Brothers on Kickstarter". Kickstarter. 2013-04-12. Retrieved 2013-05-09. 
  8. ^ "Today's Not Yesterday on Kickstarter". Kickstarter. 2015-09-21. Retrieved 2015-10-04. 

External links[edit]