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Live Music Week happens bi-annually at WERS to raise money to keep our station running. We ask if you can pledge your support in order to keep us live on air, bringing you live performances from your favorite musicians. Pledges can be made here.
This early, quiet Saturday morning, all four members (Rose, Nora, Ariel, and Sarah Parkington) of the Wellfleet-based band The Parkington Sisters gathered into the WERS studio to play a few stripped down, acoustic versions of their songs for our Live Music Week. Sporting two violins, a guitar, a piano, various percussion instruments, and their four powerful voices harmonizing together, it provided the perfect soundtrack to start the day.
While all the members have their own distinct voices, personalities, and styles, seeing them interact with each other makes it clear that they are truly sisters. Playful and fun, yet not without the occasional bicker, the group has clearly blurred the line between family and business and has made it work. The precision and syncopation with which they tackle their tracks is beautiful to watch.
The first song they played, “September,” featured a more acoustic, and at times even folky, sound with a heavy emphasis on the guitar and the harmonization of their voices. The next song, “Cruel,” was a bit heavier and more emotional, the melody of the two violins acting as the focal point as the track was kept in time by a steady drum beat and rattle of a catshaker. To finish their set, the group played the title-track of their EP, “Ours By Day,” a soulful and haunting tune that utilized deep piano chords that blended with the strings.
2012 has been a big year for the group. While working on their upcoming album, the band has had the opportunity to tour with Dispatch and the Dropkick Murphys as well as perform on State Radio’s album, and play larger venues including Bonnaroo, Boston Symphony Hall, and Radio City Music Hall. Despite their recent success, the group speaks of their achievements with a humble enthusiasm that makes supporting them so easy, “You can’t buy that experience,” Nora said, “You can be an amazing musician, but not have the experience that we’ve had.” “We’re saying grateful for it,” Sarah added on.
With four members who are all related, one could expect some tension and group does acknowledge the differences they have in comparison to other bands, specifically that all of them have, at times, drawn inspiration from shared experiences. “When you have one person in a band who ties that [personal events] into a lot of songs, you now have four of us who have gone through similar experiences,” Nora said. However, it’s clear that they’ve been able to blend all of their individual skills to complete their past record and work on upcoming projects. The group says that they’re excited about the new record, in production, and notes that the process of its creation has been pretty different from their first album, Till Voices Wake Us. “Our first album… we sort of recorded it and didn’t add too much meat in the studio, just little bits, and then from then until now we recorded a six song EP in a day; so that was sort of like playing live, and so this time we spent a lot of time writing and arranging. It feels like every song on this album got the attention it deserved.”
You can catch The Parkington Sisters next Friday, November 2nd, opening for State Radio in Providence, RI. Also, keep up with their going-ons and upcoming shows on their website.