“We’re kinda nervous. We’ve never done an acoustic tour, not that we’re supposed to tell you that,” remarked Chauntelle DuPree, guitarist for the unswervingly polite and sweet-as-pie pop-rock quintet Eisley. The Texas-based sibling act (three sisters, one brother, and a cousin for good measure) descended on Portland’s historic Wonder Ballroom last night (July 24), the second show in a series of intimate and strictly acoustic performances that will take the band up and down the West Coast before turning east towards NYC and points beyond. DuPree’s anxious declarations and Carter Family-styled banter notwithstanding, the outfit appeared poised beyond their years and completely at ease on stage, which seems only natural given that they’ve honed their songwriting chops through years of incessant touring on their own and with a wide assortment of today’s preeminent punk, emo and indie acts.
Much to the delight of the Generation-Y crowd, Eisley deftly picked their way through a cohesive hour-long set that paired tracks from the group’s back catalog with select new cuts featured on their forthcoming major label debut, Combinations. The photogenic DuPree sisters are rightly known for their gorgeous, ethereal and haunting vocals — reminiscent of Tanya Donnelly, Jenny Watson, and the Sundays’ Harriet Wheeler — which are the perfect compliment to the team’s winning alchemy of simple pop hooks, rich melodies and alt-country accents. In this spare and stripped down atmosphere, those voices carried even further.
We asked: “Eisley is a band composed of siblings. Could you handle playing in a touring indie rock band with your brothers and sisters?”