SISTERS makes great pop music. They make sunny sounds in a rainy town—SISTERS’ new track, “Buck,” is already gunning for song of the summer. A poppy one, to be sure, but a strange one—Gary Numan synth bass lines stack on disco drums. Somehow it also sounds like Arcade Fire. It’s tons of fun. You can hear it tonight at Neumos, where Emily Westman and Andrew Vait—who normally sing, play and sequence everything—will perform with a string section comprised of fellow members of the Seattle Rock Orchestra. If you go, you will likely dance.
It’s a beach party on wax, and it sounds effortless. That’s no easy trick— coming up with the hooks, the craft and the care that make a good vibes song like this is anything but easy. In fact, it’s ten years in the making.
The two met in music school in Miami, where they moved in different circles. After college, both moved to Seattle and didn’t start a band. “We were just at the same music school parties. [We were] acquaintances, really. …A group of us decided to come out here after school and have a band, and just like do the Seattle thing. That actually didn’t happen but we all came out here. He came out here a few months before I did, after school. We just never did a band.”
Westman and Vait came to realize that Seattle’s a small town—they’d play the same shows or run into each other on the street. Eventually they started to play together in Seattle Rock Orchestra and moved to the same neighborhood, which is where SISTERS begins, at Vait’s house. “I was over for dinner one night. We all got pretty high. It was going to be a long get to know each other kind of night.” Conversation turned to music, and Westman played some material for Vait and their partners. “Andrew just started to freak out. Like yeah, in a high way, but also in a real way. I was just laughing and it was super fun.”
Vait remembered that sunny, familial energy a few weeks later, when his other project broke up. “We both had this huge backlog of material,” Westman explains. The two arranged and developed their own songs into the tunes that appear on “Diamonds of Gold,” their first release. That process deepened their long-developing friendship. “We’ve built this musical trust. We just totally understand each other. We don’t even have to say a full sentence most of the time. I think it’s both of our dream bands.”
“We’re the best of sisters,” Westman says with a laugh.