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Genre: Alternative Rock, Folk

Website: http://http://www.thecallensisters.com

MP3 (click name to download; click player to stream):
Like You



NYC-based singer/songwriters Jessa and Beth Callen are The Callen Sisters; two women blessed by musical and lyrical talent much more mature than their years, 27 and 25 respectively, would suggest.

Born in the quiet art center of Westport, Massachusetts, the sisters always had a natural interest in music, learning piano, woodwind instruments and guitar and playing together in the school concert and jazz bands. When teens, they moved with their mother to Saratoga Springs, New York where they began performing at local music hot spots such as Caffé Lena and the City Tavern. Both sisters attended SUNY Purchase and soon after graduating they began honing their craft in NYC clubs.

Musically the harp has lent The Callen Sisters an original sound, a lightness of touch and an ethereal beauty that sometimes masks the darker subject matter of their lyrics. These often confront loss in a very direct and unsentimental way and speak to insecurity and the temporal nature of relationships whether in love, or in life itself. A series of deaths in the family in 2007 including their mother had a strong effect on their songwriting at the time. Their high, clear voices melding to each other, as only blood relatives seem to, enhance the real emotion of lines like these:

“Nothing lasts forever
We are changed by each endeavor
Learn to flow with the tide
and shells of youth will soon subside”

These are women who believe in life and want to share that belief through the telling of their own experience. At the same time there is a postitiveness about The Callen Sisters lyrics that rises above anything that could be mistaken for self-pity. There is strength in their knowledge and the way they communicate that knowledge through song is their greatest strength.

‘For me, music is heightened expression of human emotion. It's healing, it's engaging, it's real - I feel so alive and connected - even euphoric when I play. I hope to be able to bring that experience to others. Writing is like connecting with a higher source.’ – Beth Callen

“I draw from my life experiences and attempt to express what is happening to me in a way that other people can relate to. I always loved reading others people's lyrics and saying -"Yes! I know exactly what you mean - I'm feeling that way too!"’ – Jessa Callen

Unusually for a duo that uses mainly acoustic instruments they have varied influences. They name Blind Melon and Jimi Hendrix as major lyrical influences and both sisters have an abiding love of grunge. When they first began writing together at around 12 or 13 they did so trying to copy Kurt and Courtney and this desire hasn’t entirely worn off. More conventional influences such as Tori Amos, Crosby, Stills, & Nash, and Fiona Apple are easier to spot in their work as is Lindsey Buckingham and those glorious mid period Fleetwood Mac albums.

In October 2007 they released their self-titled debut album, a collection of beauty and wisdom in the form of songs. It was produced and arranged by Dan Castellani and released on their own label, Moon Mouth records. Despite the album’s limited availability it caught the attention of some of the more discerning critics.

“Loss is a big part of these 12 arresting tunes, true. But you get the sense that for the Callens, confronting it is what makes them stronger and lets them feel alive as humans.” – Fred Mills, Harp Magazine

Spotted by the eagle eyes at Cordless Recordings, The Callen Sisters were signed in Sept of 2008. They are now playing clubs in New York City and putting the finishing touches on their second album, also with Dan Castellani. It will be available in the Fall of 2010. The Callen Sisters are gifted and willing to give honestly of their talents. Anticipation is high.