The Callen Sisters
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The Callen Sisters

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Spotlight"

By Gray Gill

Who: The Callen Sisters
From: New York
For fans of: Ingrid Michaelson, Birdy, Sara Bareilles

Most siblings tend to have some disagreements over things and, perhaps a few heated arguments every now and then; but judging from their music, it sounds as though Jessa and Beth Callen are getting along just fine.

On stage and in the studio, they simply go by The Callen Sisters; a highly talented singer-songwriter duo that bring a much needed vitality to the three of four redundant pop songs played on the radio. According to the sisters’ website, both Jessa and Beth had conservatory training while attending State University of New York (SUNY) at Purchase. While they had played music together throughout their teens, it was during those vital years at SUNY that they saw the potential of creating music together, as an actual band. So in 2006, they took that next step.

That potential has certainly been realized on their most recent release and the third since officially becoming a band – a six-song EP entitled The Light Bringer Project. Anticipation for the album was built by releasing it one track at a time at the start of November. The sisters have described the content of the album as being about “shining a positive light on social issues, as the album’s name suggests. Besides the level of instrumental dexterity, as evidenced in Jessa’s prowess with the harp and their impressive vocal harmonies, their music is memorable due in large part to the implicit message of each song. “Silhouette,” the first single from the new EP, is extremely catchy; but listen to the lyrics, and you can hear the sisters’ clear and strong voices singing poignant, poetic lyrics such as “only love is true.”

It is easy to hear that Jessa and Beth Callen are talented; but talent is nothing without inspiration and that is something they also seem to have a lot of. The Light Bringer Project has six songs that you will find yourself listening to over and over again. And each time, you will hear something new and exciting in this group’s multifaceted music.

You can listen to the single, “Silhouette,” by clicking here. After falling in love with that, you will want to visit iTunes or Amazon for the rest of the goods. In addition, every single on The Light Bringer Project EP will be released one by one every other month! The next single, “Light Bringer” is due out in January 2013.
- Musiqtone

"The Callen Sisters' No Shelter is an unusual, unique acoustic folk pop record"

It isn’t every day you hear that a harp is one of the main instruments in a band’s lineup, but that’s the case with Jessa Callen, one half of the duo known as The Callen Sisters, a pair of singer/songwriters who play the guitar and harp. Rounding out the band is a series of guest musicians who play everything from drums and bass to the violin and the trumpet. The result is an unusual acoustic folk pop record that has a unique appeal.

“Between Us” is an upbeat hybrid of folk and modern pop, and similarly Beth and Jessa Callen’s vocals fuse together in perfect harmony. Tracks like “My Own Way” on the other hand are more elegiac with their plaintive piano and harp notes as Jessa sings about trying to find her way through life after experiencing difficult times. “Father/Daughter” has an odd feel to it; a tale of a daughter’s wish that her father would be better to her and not break her heart so, the music ranges from mildly upbeat pop to what sounds like the downtrodden soundtrack of a failing merry-go-round. This is one of the album’s most notable tunes.

Both sisters spend most of the album singing in higher octaves that are gorgeous to listen to, though they are not without the ability to sing in lower and more subdued tones as well. Even when the tunes are sad, there is something hopeful and otherworldly about the quality of their voices that softens the blow. At times the album has a mildly Celtic feel to it, as though these tracks were recorded in a far away land or another time altogether, but then they come right back with the groovy pop rock rhythms of songs like “Avalanche” and you think these women are just enthusiasts of an assortment of musical styles.

No Shelter is a pleasant amalgamation of sounds and emotions that is augmented by the passion of these two sisters as they sing confidently, longingly, joyfully and wistfully, depending on what the song calls for. These gals are worth checking out. - Stereo Subversion

"The lissome Sisters Callen -"

“The lissome Sisters Callen — Jessa, on harp; Beth, guitar; both harmonizing instinctively as only siblings can—have earned comparisons to Tori Amos and Fiona Apple, which is fine, for in these deftly textured, at times subtly baroque, pop-rock compositions (frequently leavened by producer Dan Castellani’s keyboards) one revisits the ascent of the Lilith generation. Yet the Callens also come across as far less guarded than those two self-styled mistresses of the world-weary. Amid the swirling prog-jazz of “Irrelevant” the protaganist queries, “Is it a crime to bear the mark of novice? / I hadn’t yet tried to break the chain” as she ponders why a relationship went south, while in the Joni-Mitchell-like “Tangled Up” she confesses that she simply wants her man back. Loss is a big part of these 12 arresting tunes, true. But you get the sense that for the Callens, confronting it is what makes them stronger and lets them feel alive as humans.” – Fred Mills Harp Magazine (2008) - Harp Magazine

"Weekly Roundup: Dec 9 - 15, 2012"

-We start off our section on the latest NYC music with The Callen Sisters. As the name would imply, this band centers upon two sisters, Jessa and Beth Callen. They sing together and have a clean pop sound with an emphasis on piano and harp, as well as rockier complements from the drumming and electric guitar. As you might expect from sisters, they can harmonize together nicely. The forthcoming EP The Light Bringer Project should be a great listen, this catchy tune has me looking forward to hear more. - Those Who Dig


"Silhouette" (Single, November 2012)

No Shelter, 2010

The Callen Sisters, 2007
Like You, Lullaby - radio play



Conservatory trained singers and songwriters, sisters Jessa and Beth Callen of The Callen Sisters have played music together since their teens and first attempted to start a band when both were students at SUNY Purchase. “What makes us unique is that we have a harp in our band (played by Jessa) and that our voices blend in a freaky-weird sibling way,” says Beth. They have dazzled audiences with performances throughout New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia. They were featured on BBC Radio in Wales and received a rave review from Harp Magazine who called their music “deftly textured, at times subtly baroque, pop-rock.”

The sisters have just announced their new EP The Light Bringer Project, which they will release track by track starting this November. Their album is a collection of 6 tracks about “shining a positive light on social issues and uncovering truths.”

Their third release since they came together as a duo in 2006, the siblings have opted to give their music an edgier, more pop sound with a more focused message. Beth says, “We wanted to create songs about social change, coming into your own power, and truth.” The first single “Silhouette” presents a more pop-oriented sound with the sisters’ signature sparkling vocal harmonies, to be released on November 29, 2012.