He’s My Brother She’s My Sister — He’s My Brother She’s My Sister EP

Band: He’s My Brother She’s My Sister
Album: He’s My Brother She’s My Sister EP
Release Date: October 1, 2010
Free mp3: “How’m I Gonna Get Back Home” (’til Jan. 16)

Many of us just experienced some good holiday time — whatever that might mean to you — so let’s go there a moment to set some mood.

When I reflect on a typical evening of mid to late December, I rouse wholesome memories, generally, of warm nights indoors: company and chatter, blankets and books, brownies and baked goods, ciders and coffee and, if my dear mother supported it, a live, crackling fire in lieu of one of those silly instant ones she’s got that ignites at the flip of a switch.

These are the kinds of things the music of He’s My Brother She’s My Sister seems to remind me of. It embodies those same, simple qualities that make those yearly pilgrimages to the homeland — eastern Pennsylvania — so very special. HMBSMS is cozy and sunny, perhaps in the way Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros is cozy and sunny.

You know, I was a touch fearful to make that comparison, but a hasty web search reveals the two bands toured together for a handful of engagements in late 2010. I’m not the only one, apparently, to think them a somewhat compatible pair.

It’s been a good long while since I’ve discussed a band in this space from way outside my city — HMBSMS is L.A.-based — but He’s My Brother She’s My Sister got the nod here for digging into my ears at a good time. Its upright bass and horns and other diversities combine in a thoughtful way, all in a conscious effort to foster a rolling atmosphere of, I think, Country Americana.

I didn’t notice it on my own — used this as my reference — but a slice of HMBSMS’s sound is secured by the clatter of live tap on polished wood, and to winning effect. That’ll read like I fell for one big gimmick, I’m sure, and yet I swear the tap works wonderfully.

Knowing it’s thrown in there now, go back and listen to “Tales That I Tell” and “How’m I Gonna Get Back Home” another time. It’s pronounced in those ones especially, and by god it works.


  • The L.A.-based He’s My Brother She’s My Sister is: Rachel Kolar (vocals/percussion), Rob Kolar (vocals/guitar), Lauren Brown (tap dancing/percussion), Oliver ‘Oliwa’ Newell (upright bass), Aaron Robinson (slide guitar) and Satya Bhabha (cello).
  • Their EP is available on Bandcamp for $6. | Bandcamp
  • He’s My Brother She’s My Sister plays The Empty Bottle on January 14 for $8. (Or free with RSVP.) | Tickets

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About Eric

Hello there. Email your things to chicagotunes[at]gmail[dot]com.
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