Yes, Abigail and Lily Chapin are from that Chapin family — dad is Tom, uncles are Harry and Steve and, for added interest, their stepfather is horror film director Wes Craven.
So it’s no surprise to find the duo in the “family business” as the Chapin Sisters, although Abigail says she and Lily — and half-sister Jessica Craven, who’s become a part-time member since having her first child — “tried our hands at other things” before committing themselves to a life of music.
“We didn’t grow up thinking we were obviously going to be musicians,” Abigail, 30, explains. “We all had different passions and paths we were going on. But it’s true, music was all around. Our house was full of instruments and everything. It’s not like we would get together and jam all the time with our extended family, but it was there.
“There were definitely times where ... the cynic in you, in middle school and high school, could be like, ‘Oh, this is so embarrassing!’ But for me, at least, it was something I couldn’t help.”
These days, the Chapin Sisters find themselves doing double duty. They recently released a new EP, “Oh Hear the Wind,” and are preparing for the August release of their sophomore full-length album, “Two.” But the duo — which first gained notoriety with a slow, acoustic rendition of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” — is also touring as part of She & Him, the duo of actress Zooey Deschanel and singer-songwriter M. Ward, which puts them in front of sold-out crowds.
“Our role is really different in each case,” Abigail notes. “In our shows it takes a lot of energy being frontpeople and carrying the whole thing on our shoulders. Then in the She & Him show, it’s really fun music and we jump around a lot. That’s energizing but also tiring, in a different way. But it’s really fun.”
The Chapin Sisters open for and perform with She & Him Sunday, June 6, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $24 in advance, $29 day of show. Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com. The Chapin Sisters will also perform Nov. 2 at the Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $10. Call 734-761-1800 or visit www.theark.org.
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