Why Aren’t You Listening To: Anna and Elizabeth

“Why Aren’t You Listening to” is an irregularly-running series at Rock on Philly, spotlighting artists in Philly and beyond that you should be keeping an eye (and ear) out for! This installment focuses on eclectic-folk storytelling duo Anna and Elizabeth.

Why you should be listening: It’s hard not to automatically perk your ears at the first clear note sung between these two sisterly (unrelated) artists. Their sparse, articulate harmonies range from haunting to comforting, but always carry with them the ring of authentic folk tradition. Their voices are captivating, accented only by the occasional instrumentation (usually banjo or guitar, or possibly both), leaving plenty of room for the listener to fall into the rich mountain music sound.

In addition to their uniquely yearning sound, the two gals also feature “crankies”–mural-like scrolls depicting scenes from ballads and meant to accompany the stories that the music tells. The multiple mediums bring an extra dimension to Anna and Elizabeth’s old/new folk tradition that make the two–and their music–unforgettable.

Sounds like: Those inseparable best friends from summer camp who always sang the best campfire songs.

Listen to: Anna and Elizabeth and their friends as The Sea Between, all gathered together to perform “The Devil’s Nine Questions”. The slowly-turning crankie will keep your attention focused on Elizabeth LaPrelle’s rich voice, at least until the group breaks into “Billy in the Lowground”with some traditional pickin’ that will have you stomping your feet right along with the rest.

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