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SISTERS, Summer in Siberia

The Seattle-based duo of Emily Westman and Andrew Vait, better known as SISTERS, has only released two full-length albums, but they dropped them within just months of one another last year. Listening to them back-to-back gives you the impression they’re being presented as a stylistic mission statement, and they’re also fascinating companion pieces. The first, Drink Champagne, is the more mournful of the two, made up mostly of pulsating slow jams; its sequel, Wait Don’t Wait, is dancier, like the party you throw for yourself after a breakup. SISTERS’ work is reminiscent of lots of great retro-pop — Hall and Oates, the Human League, Dirty Mind-era Prince, anthemic ’80s movie theme songs — with throbbing synths, slinky disco guitars, insistent hand claps, soaring falsetto and key changes that feel like dramatic gear shifts. Standing still while they play is simply an impossibility.

— Nathan Weinbender