October 11, 2013

Making Noise: Four sisters bringing tunes to Empire

The Parkington Sisters are a family affair of music

By Aimsel Ponti aponti@pressherald.com
News Assistant

My toenails are no longer painted and I’m back to wearing my sturdy, scuffed up black boots almost every day. Furthermore, I crawled into the far depths of my closet to extract a basket of sweaters, half-expecting to emerge in Narnia or a Jules Verne novel. Autumn rocks.

click image to enlarge

The Wellfleet, Mass.-based Parkington Sisters are all multi- instrumental songwriters.

Courtesy photo


Turn your radio dial to 102.9 WBLM every Friday at 8:30 a.m. to hear Aimsel Ponti wax poetic about her top live music picks for the week with the Captain and Celeste.

Catch local and national acts performing live at the Press Herald on The Newsroom Sessions video page.

Musically speaking, this time of year is marvelous because a lot of bands put out new records and hit the road. It also is a time when the major labels start thinking about what blow-our-minds box sets they’ll be releasing as holiday shopping starts to rev up.

As for this week, I hereby declare that sisters are absolutely doing it for themselves. Read on and you’ll understand. Also, a local favorite will be performing at a favorite venue.

Say hello to my new favorite band, The Parkington Sisters. They hail from my home state of Massachusetts and the band name is not an attempt at being arty and hip, it’s rather a spot-on description.

The Wellfleet-based ladies are indeed sisters and they are all multi-instrumental songwriters. Here’s the lineup: Rose plays piano, guitar and accordion, Ariel and Sarah play violin and viola and Nora plays violin and percussion. Rose and Nora switch off on lead vocal duties.

The Parkington Sisters released their debut album “Till Voices Wake Us” in 2011 and followed it up with the sensational 6-song release “Inside My Head.” Let me break down the six songs for you. “Inside My Head” is a string-and-percussion-fueled infectious tune that someone should do at least nine club remixes of. The pace slows down a tick or two with the lovely “September.” The harmonies will slay you and the lyrics will pluck at your heartstrings. “I would follow you to late September, ’til the leaves fall from the sky. I would follow you to late September, and I would try to say goodbye.” Next up is the slow and moody foot-stomper “The Boat,” with Nora on lead vocals. The song has an almost spiritual, cathartic vibe to it. “Now That You’re gone” is Rose on piano and vocals and it deconstructs heartbreak note by gloriously bitter note. Sad songs require skills and The Parkington Sisters know what they’re doing. “Shadows” lingers in the land of lost love with mystical sounding strings and harmonies. The EP ends with my current favorite, “There There.” Everything I love about this band comes together supremely on this one – the vocals, the lyrics and the soaring instruments.

I am also awarding The Parkington Sisters hilarity points for the “Band Interests” list on their Facebook page. It includes poetry at sunset, Turkish delight, thermodynamics, unicorns, Budweiser “coolahs,” Alf and heart-shaped locks on journals.

Can’t wait to see them live!

9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15. Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland. $10 in advance; $12 day of show; 18-plus; portlandempire.com 

ON A LOCAL NOTE, here’s another suggestion; Go see Clara Junken at Blue. She’s got a gorgeous voice and plays a wondrous electric guitar. If her name rings a bell it may be because she’s a member of the now defunct band Marion Grace. Junken’s been working on material for a solo album and I for one can’t wait to hear it. She’ll be performing with some old friends and is hoping to slay all those who cross the Blue threshold. Have at it.

10 p.m. Friday, October 11. Blue.650A Congress St., Portland. No cover; portcityblue.com

Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at: aponti@pressherald.com


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