Local Artist Spotlight: SISTERS

photo by Melissa Wax

Every week, KEXP features a new local artist with an interview and suggested tracks for where to start. This week, we’re featuring Seattle’s SISTERS, who play Concerts at the Mural this Friday, August 11, with Telekinesis and Haley Heynderickx.

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Listening to SISTERS can feel like taking part in an endless dance party. Their propulsive rhythms paired with steamy bass and guitar licks are mesmerizing, built to be put on repeat for an eternal groove. Thankfully, the band seems set on continuing to deliver on more music so the party really doesn’t have to end. The duo just released their debut LP, Drink Champagne, earlier this year and they’re already gearing up for round two. On October 13th they’ll release their sophomore album, Wait Don’t Wait, recorded at the famous Different Furs Studio in San Francisco with producer Patrick Brown (Toro y Moi, The Morning Benders). We caught up with the band about their musical bonds, why they felt it was important to put out another record as quickly as possible, and using music as a means for revolution.

Listening to your music, there’s such a powerful and tangible bond felt between you two. When did you first start making music together and what sounds did you initially bond over?

We’ve been casually playing music together for around 10 years and non-casually for a little over three years. The feeling of having an even mildly shared history together has been a strong bonding factor in our friendship and music. We initially bonded over the sounds of each other’s original music over some wine and joints one night!

Earlier this year you released your debut LP, Drink Champagne, and you’re already gearing up to release your sophomore LP Wait Don’t Wait on October 13th. What inspired this prolific streak?

Most bands have experienced the painfully frustrating feelings of delayed gratification in having to sit on a finished record for over a year. We never anticipated that quicksand trap happening to us, but it happened nonetheless and we made a blood pact with each other to put out a second record immediately. We wanted our fans heads to spin Linda Blair-style. No one likes a dead shark.

In what ways would you say Wait Don’t Wait differentiates from Drink Champagne? What common ground do the two records have?

Being so close to both records puts a magnifying glass to them that leaves us feeling like they’re extremely different records, but I’m sure to a further away audience they’re only somewhat different. The new record feels more heavy/dark/angular/raw whereas Drink Champagne felt like some sparkly, fresh joy-pop. The truth is though that the common ground is just relentless, driving pop and positivity even in the face of darker times.

You recorded Wait Don’t Wait at Different Fur Studios in San Francisco with producer Patrick Brown. How did the studio and Brown’s presence influence your sessions? Did you find working in such a legendary space effected your frame of mind while working on the new material?

It’s impossible to escape the ghosts of any noteworthy studio when you’re recording there, as was the case at Different Fur as well as at Bear Creek, prior. Patrick’s presence was so subtle and so felt simultaneously like some kind of shoulder angel and devil silently informing our decisions. I think because of the pace and fervor of this session (most tracking was completed in 5 days) we didn’t really have much of a chance to stop and smell the ghosts, though their presence was felt.

Your bio references a quote from Emma Goldman saying “A revolution without dancing is not a revolution worth having.” You also mention creating music with the intention of working toward a world that is safe for everyone. How do you feel like music can be extended toward reaching these goals? How do you utilize joy in your music to incite action toward a better world?

It would be naive to overlook the powerful influence of pop music/art/film, all the things. We made a decision long ago to use our platform to lend a shining voice to meaningful causes, namely fighting for equality for marginalized groups. The queer community is perhaps the most welcoming, joyful community imaginable and we choose to extend that message of inclusion and joy to the world through our positive music/messages rather than send angry, disappointed messages to the world. It’s a pretty simple idea to put more love into the world rather than less.

For those who’ve never seen SISTERS perform live before, what can they expect from your Concerts at the Mural set?

Pyrotechnics.

 

 

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