"Currents" — the latest and fourth effort from Tyler, Texas, family band Eisley — is brimming with rich-textured experiments such as the military march "Real World," a jazz-sculpted "Blue Fish," the cascading title track and a symphonic, heavenly-harmonized "Shelter."
It's easily the most sonically adventurous album in the quintet's 16-year career. According to singer-guitarist Sherri DuPree Bemis, Eisley achieved such creative freedom by breaking every last chain binding it to the music industry.
"It's the best thing we ever could have done, it's just been life-changing," she says.
No longer inked to the major label that issued its ethereal debut "Room Noises" in 2005, Eisley — which opens for Sherri's husband Max Bemis' combo Say Anything on Sunday — holed up in Tyler, commandeered the Dupree-Bemis garage, and built a high-tech recording studio there, where they self-produced and engineered "Currents."
"Having a studio in our backyard made all the difference in the world. We didn't have a producer, so we got to sit around and cultivate these song ideas without stressing about money. It was so amazing," she says.
Naturally, the facilities also are available to other familial offshoots, such as Sherri and Max's duo Perma; keyboardist kid sister Stacy DuPree King's Sucre spinoff with her spouse, MuteMath's Darren King; and Rising Fawn, eldest sibling Chauntelle DuPree D'Agostino's group with her luthier husband Todd D'Agostino.
The clan (which also includes brother Weston on drums and cousin Garron on bass) that plays together apparently stays together.
But the three sisters didn't get their hands dirty with studio construction.
"All of us girls were actually newly pregnant when that was going on," says DuPree Bemis, 29. "But luckily, the guys in our family are very handy with that kind of stuff, and I had no idea that they could do that."
Eisley began musically collaborating as teenagers, encouraged by their coffeehouse-owning folks.
Now the DuPree girls are parents to baby daughters themselves, and Weston and his wife just had a son.
"I always thought motherhood would make me more stressed out," says the pink-haired, liberally tattooed DuPree Bemis, who also sketches Eisley's neo-Victorian T-shirt and CD cover art.
"I worried about changing, like 'Well, should I try and look more grown-up now?' But it hasn't made any difference. And we've all got our babies on tour now. They have their little noise-canceling headphones, and they just love it."
In 15 years, will the DuPrees be touring with their own kids — say, a supergroup called King Bemis D'Agostino — as opening act? Could be, chuckles DuPree Bemis. "I definitely will be supportive," she says. "If music is the career my daughter Lucy chooses, then I'll be 100 percent behind her!"Eisley
Opening for Say Anything
Where: Regency Ballroom, 1300 Van Ness Ave., S.F.,
When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday
Tickets: $18 to $20Contact: (415) 673-5716, www.axs.com