By Fred Thomas
Nothing about Call Me Spinster is ordinary. The closer you look at this trio of sisters fromChattanooga, Tennessee, the harder it is to locate something about their sound, background, or energy that delivers predictable results.
Call Me Spinster blurs old-timey traditions with modernized pop fun without ever landing in expected territory. Like many who forge their own path, the group started with seemingly inauspicious beginnings. While sisters Amelia, Rachel and Rosalie were living and working as teachers in various international locales, they’d get together occasionally to play cover tunes at family weddings or in low-key performance settings. By 2016, all three had centralized in Chattanooga and were gigging regularly, still playing cover songs but discovering that their individual musical journeys were gelling with their inherent familial harmony for something unique.
When the band played the Timber Roots festival in Lookout Mountain, Georgia in late summer of 2019, they met Strolling Bones label head George Fontaine, who had already heard positive buzzings about the band from friends in Chattanooga with good ears. Through George, Call Me Spinster would eventually be introduced to producer Drew Vandenberg (of Montreal, Toro y Moi,) who would work with them to create their first EP of original music. The band decamped to Athens, Georgia to work with Vandenberg at the vaunted studios of Chase Park Transductions. The studio turned into a creative playground, and long days spun on into 3AM nights of experimenting with overdubs and last-minute mixing choices that totally reshaped the songs. A major transformation came with the decision to branch out from the merry-go-round instrumentation of the band’s live set, bringing in session players to fill out arrangements that could be sometimes raw or skeletal in the club. After a week of work, time was up and the band returned home with the recordings still in progress, making plans to comeback soon and finish up in person.COVID-19 complicated those plans significantly, and the music took yet another unexpected turn with Call Me Spinster completing unfinished vocal tracking, overdubs and in some cases full songs on their own, with help in the form of video chat recording tutorials from their producer.