A pair of musical teenage sisters in Holladay enjoyed playing instruments and singing together in their artsy home since elementary school, and it quickly became a harmony worth sharing.
Tessa and Sophie Barton started singing and playing the guitar at a young age. In their teens, they wanted to share the folk rock music they composed. They created an album and played numerous shows first in fairs, then stores and libraries and eventually around the western states. Their music was received so well they were asked to play again and again at different venues and for various types of shows.
“I never ask to play in shows, they are always coming this way, coming that way,” Tessa Barton said.
The now 20-year-old Barton described their music as “the perfect day” composed of Tessa as the storm, and Sophie as the light–the perfect combination.
However, the ideal day didn’t last long. Sophie died at the age of 17 after a summer hike on a hot day at a girls camp two years ago. Although the exact cause of death is still unknown, the family has used this tragedy to make life a happier experience by channeling Sophie’s passion for music to inspire all around them.
“I like to write about emotions … [My music] is like a journal for me, which can be embarrassing at times,” Barton said.
Her music is truly from the soul. After a trial so personal as Sophie’s death, Barton still had some shows set up and had a decision to make: Would she continue to play, even without Sophie?
“I had never played without Sophie,” Barton said. “We never started or finished a song without the other.”
Although this was a hard decision, Barton said she knew that is what Sophie would have wanted her to do.
“I will never stop playing music because that’s when I feel [Sophie] closest to me,” Barton said.
Tessa’s brothers Luke, 15, and Chas, 22, joined her on stage and a new journey began.
“Ever since then, it has been an evolution,” said Chas Barton, who is a BYU advertising student.
Tessa Barton said each band member contributes a different style and influence. She said the band does not have a specific method for writing music. They say it’s something that just comes naturally as they play.
“We just start playing, start singing and if it flows, you know it’s going to be good,” Barton said.
In October, their new drummer, Toni Farley, joined the band. He met Barton at the University of Utah; they are neighbors on Greek row.
When asked about his inspiration Farley said, “All the music around me inspires me.”
Their inspiration is also driven by their passion for music.
“I’ve always been passionate about music,” Chas Barton said. “It’s an experience unlike anything else in life.”
The band members are all fashionable and attractive, according to their friends.
“I always tell Chas that the girls in the ward tell me they think he is attractive,” said Kevin Cangelosi, Chas Barton’s’ friend and a senior from Coppell, Texas, majoring in finance. “He never lets it get to his head. His faith has been tested and it has been strengthened through his trial. He cares about people. If I were a girl I would have a crush on him.”
The band has a new album coming out soon. According to Tessa Barton it is, “super clean and super rock.”
“I like rawness so you can feel the emotion,” Barton said.
Sophie will always live on in their music.
“She is why we play music,” Barton said. “Our music keeps [Sophie] with us.”
Tessa Barton opened for Parachute on Monday night at The Venue in Salt Lake City. The band played for a sold-out crowd.