How the books we read turn into the songs we write – Her Sister’s literary inspired music

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My friends recently released their new single! It’s awesome and I love the fresh summery, London vibes. They’re also some of my book friends in that they love reading – so I thought I’d find out more about how their literary life influences their songwriting…

How does your love of reading affect your love of music?

Valentina: I’ve always grown up loving reading. I think this translated into our music because songs are a form of storytelling. My love of words also came from reading, and that’s why I think I love lyrics so much. 

Rafaela: I think being an avid reader from such a young age has influenced our love of music so much. Especially song writing. We devour words and spend so much time painstakingly making sure each word perfectly describes the emotions we want to talk about.

Some of your songs have literary themes. How did this come about?

Valentina: We get inspired by books, plays, films, and poetry, and sometimes we find stories or feelings in these which are exactly what we’re experiencing. Our songs are autobiographical, but sometimes you need to figure out a different way of saying the same thing. So we’ve written from a characters view before, and used their world to say what we were going through in ours.

Rafaela: Again just being massive book worms! We are very inspired by the stories we read. We have a song inspired by the world of Neverland and Narnia-especially the book The Silver Chair, and to write that we just though what would these characters be thinking? What emotions would they be feeling?

Her Sister

Do you like the same books as each other?

Valentina: Mostly! So many of our very favourite books are the same. We read all sorts of books that the other hasn’t though. I love our great book discussions!

Rafaela: Ooo we have very similar tastes…

I quite like a wee bit of crime/thriller- like the Mellenium trilogy by the Swedish author Stieg Larsson. A bit too violent and gritty for Valentina’s taste. We often share our books with each though.

What are some of your favourite books ever?

Valentina: A fantasy series called The Obernewtyn Chronicles by an Australian author Isobel Carmody. It’s so complex you could reread the series a hundred times and get something new each time. Pride and Prejudice… of course. Harry Potter… again of course. The Scarlet Pimpernal. The Forgotten Garden by another Australian Kate Morton. 

Rafaela: I adore Kate Morton as well. The Shifting Fog is a beautiful novel.

Miss Petrigrew Lives for a Day, Wuthering Heights, the Book Thief and The Obernewtyn Chronicles  changed my life. And of course Harry Potter. Never forget JK.

What have you been reading recently, and would you recommend?

Valentina: Ha ha… Harry Potter from the start! I’m up to the Deathly Hollows and I’m so sad it’s nearly over. I’ve also been reading some plays. Tom Stoppard’s The Real Inspector Hound was fantastic.

Rafaela: Actually I’ve just recently finished 2 books you lent me- Stardust and The Morning Gift which were terrific.

Also last month I read They Knew Mr Knight by Dorothy Whipple, who was a very successful English author in the 40s. She writes these beautiful studies of humanity.

Tell us the story of your new song…

Valentina: We had all the songs for the EP, and then suddenly we had an idea for this new song. Electric. It’s a song that sums up our friendships, our weekends and our everyday adventures in London. After we wrote it, we knew it was the perfect title track for the EP.

Rafaela: It’s a song about dreams. About not letting where you’ve come from dictate where you’re going. Don’t be afraid to just “go get em.”

GET ‘ELECTRIC’ HERE!

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