"He’s My Brother She’s My Sister is like a time warp to the golden present" - LA RECORD
He’s My Brother She’s My Sister seem to invite a broad range of colorful words to describe their music and performances: “flamboyant folk,” “psych-acoustic,” “estranged and glamorous” and “vaudeville-y,” with “alleyway rhythms,” and “earthy swagger.” No doubt this is due to their mélange of musical styles, both modern and antique; their eccentric attire and sense of expression, that is both sincere and theatrical; and, their unique instrumentation, which includes a rhythm section bolstered by a tap dancer.
Brother and sister Robert Kolar and Rachel Kolar split vocal duties, with Robert on guitar and kick drum and Rachel on tambourine. Their voices range from boisterous to introspective, from breezy to emotive. Lauren Brown adds full-body percussion with her fluid tap-dancing. Oliver Newell adds stand up bass with joyous flair. Aaron Robinson plays lead guitar on a lap slide, veering from nuanced psychedelica to American roots riffs. And Satya Bhabha adds unconventional cello playing which is at times sweeping, and at other times bellows like a husky fiddle.
The band’s infectious rhythms and high energy make the sounds come alive and cause even uninitiated crowds to erupt in dance. Their songs ring like pop classics in a modern framework. It is a recipe that has quickly gained the band a devoted following in their hometown of Echo Park and the surrounding LA area, and that following has spread to every town the band visits.
Robert Kolar has been writing and performing for many years and has gained notoriety and a strong following with his band Lemon Sun. He recently won The John Lennon Songwriting Contest first prize for his song "Same Old Ground" in the 'rock' category. He also recently starred in an art-house film-noir by cult director Monte Hellman titled "Road to Nowhere" also starring Shannyn Sossamon. The film was in official competition at the 2010 Venice Film Festival & SXSW.
Rachel Kolar writes much of the band’s lyrics and will often co-write with her brother. Rachel and Lauren Brown created and run POSTFACT Productions, a Los Angeles based theater company, which recently put on the successful show NEW at the Million Dollar Theater in downtown LA. Rachel wrote the musical/play and Lauren and Rachel both starred in it. They also starred in "The Parabox" a play written by Rachel and produced by POSTFACT. Their work is in the realm of the avant-garde and has been well received and reviewed by LA Weekly, LA Times, NY Times, Variety, and other respectable publications. Lauren has been tap dancing since she was 8 years old and has created a new form of continuous rhythm with her feet acting as a hi-hat and snare drum to propel the band’s sound.
Oliver Newell, a/k/a ~Oliwa, was raised in the music mecca of Austin Texas on a regular diet of rock, blues and two-stepping. At 19 he quit music school and hit the hippy trail hitchhiking across America, playing free jazz in Portland, Oregon, singing heart songs in the Olympic Mountains, and jamming reggae dubs in Hawaii before finding his latest incarnation in Los Angeles. He served as the principle bassist in The Kona Symphony, performed extensively across the U.S. and Europe as a jazz/classical/rock/folk/experimental upright and electric bassist. In addition to playing bass he is a composer, electronic musician, dancer, performance artist and amateur scientist. He is a graduate of CalArts and ringleader of The Pleasure Circus, an exotic ten piece tribal dance party.
Aaron Robinson started playing classical guitar at the age of 8. In high school his guitar playing became influenced by English folk music, and he continued to broaden his scope when he moved to Spain to study flamenco guitar. Whether acoustic, electric, dobro, lap steel or charango, Aaron’s guitar work has been called “phenomenal.” He is often compared to his influences, folk guitar legends Bert Jansch, Richard Thompson, Nick Drake and Mississippi John Hurt. He has toured extensively with Sea Wolf, and appeared live with Akron Family, Charlie Wadhams, We Are The World, and his own band, Messes, among others. Aaron is the musical director for folk legend Linda Perhacs.
The five individuals come together to create a sound inspired by many influences as well as their own relationships with one another.
The band has performed at the Sundance Film Festival, Manimal Vinyl Festival, Clean Air Clear Stars, The New Los Angeles Folk Festival, The North Park Music Festival and last summer toured Europe as the official band of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. They have shared the stage with Fitz and the Tantrums, The Devil Makes Three, Spindrift, Miranda Lee Richards, The Knitters, The Growlers, Local Natives, Frank Fairfield, Alexander Ebert, and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zero's.
They have plans for a full-length album in early 2012 as well as tours of Europe and the United States.