Every Tuesday, Torontoist scours record store shelves in search of the city’s most notable new releases and brings you the best—or sometimes just the biggest—of what we’ve heard in Sound Advice.
Who (besides this loyal Geocities fansite co-creator, of course) would ever have thought that the Gillis sisters would become so sneakily ubiquitous? Their 1990s all-girl indie rock band, Plumtree, is totally having its moment as their song “Scott Pilgrim” basks in the comic-cum-blockbuster movie treatment, and Carla and Lynette seized the opportunity to recently release their new Sister EP at the launch of the comic’s final volume. Sister is more in line with the dark and nervy pop of more recent west-coast Gillis projects Bells Clanging or Bontempi, but with a renewed lyrical injection of the irrefutable comfortable sibling intuition that informed Plumtree’s endearing peculiarity.
Produced by longtime Local Rabbits bud Peter Elkas (and mixed by Thrush Hermit’s Ian McGettigan!), the sisters Gillis are still using the usual Lynette on drums, Carla on vocals/guitars configuration (rounded out by Ryan Marshall playing bass on the EP) and are still reflecting on personal matters and observations that are immediately intriguing in their simplicity. The crunchy Sloan-ish power pop of “Wishbone” (streaming above), is a literal contemplation on breaking a wishbone. Quirky, cute, endearing—but also recalling memories of the holidays when one of those birds would be floating around, pulling out the lasting impressions of childhood and family, making up what is lacked in sophisticated wordsmithery with imagination and poignant personal vignettes. Sister also try their hand at dance pop with the minor-key bounce of “Feather on the Ocean Floor,” letting it drift into a gauzy, post-punk dreamstate, closing with a plucky dueling guitar riff taking the place of a synth.
A project named as a touching tribute to both each other and their sister who passed away two summers ago, Sister is loaded with trust and ease, and is both as fun and thoughtful as anything these sisters have given us in the past.