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The Chapin Sisters
The Chapin Sisters share a microphone during a live performance
The Chapin Sisters, Lily and Abigail (right), perform at Pete's Candy Store in Brooklyn in 2013
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Folk, psychedelic, pop
Years active2004–present
LabelsLake Bottom, Loantaka, Plain
MembersAbigail Chapin
Lily Chapin
Past membersJessica Craven

The Chapin Sisters are an American folk rock and harmony duo from Brooklyn, New York. 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

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 Olsen 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 half-sister Jessica Craven.

By 2004 Abigail, Lily, and Jessica 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 Tantrums). Before they had ever played a show together or considered themselves a band, their slow, acoustic version of Britney Spears's song " Toxic" gained attention and radio play around the country. [4] [5] 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. [6]

The Lake Bottom LP

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 but a compact disc version soon followed.

Many of the music reviews by critics were positive. According to, [7] "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," 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

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. [8]

A Date with the Everly Brothers

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. [9]

Today's Not Yesterday

In October 2015, the band announced on their website and via Kickstarter that they would release their full-length album titled Today's Not Yesterday, composed of original songs. [10] 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

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
2018 Ferry Boat EP Loantaka Records

Featured appearances

Year Song Album With Artist
2014 " Unchained Melody" Classics She & Him
2018 "The Dolphins" Single [11] Cass McCombs


  1. ^ a b "The Chapin Sisters | SPIN". 28 May 2008. 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. ^ "The Chapin Sisters - Artist Profile". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  6. ^ "PAPERMAG: Beautiful People 2006: The Chapin Sisters". Retrieved 2015-07-22.
  7. ^ "The Chapin Sisters: Lake Bottom, PopMatters". 28 April 2008.
  8. ^ "Magnet Magazine". 8 November 2010. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
  9. ^ "Date with the Everly Brothers on Kickstarter". Kickstarter. 2013-04-12. Retrieved 2013-05-09.
  10. ^ "Today's Not Yesterday on Kickstarter". Kickstarter. 2015-09-21. Retrieved 2015-10-04.
  11. ^ "Cass McCombs & The Chapin Sisters – "Dolphins" (Fred Neil Cover) | Stereogum". October 2018. Retrieved 2022-06-27.

External links