The Wainwright Sisters are in fact half-sisters, two women with the same father and different mothers, though the three parents involved are all important figures in contemporary folk music, and the sisters themselves were gifted performers of note before they began working together.
The Wainwright Sisters are Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche; Martha's parents are singer and songwriter Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, who performed with her sister as Kate & Anna McGarrigle, while Lucy is the daughter of Wainwright and Suzzy Roche of the vocal group the Roches, who was in a relationship with Loudon after he and Kate divorced. While Martha and Lucy grew up in different households, they knew one another as children, and like many of their siblings, they developed a love of music and eventually took up music as a trade. Martha made her recorded debut at age eight on the album Love Over and Over by Kate & Anna McGarrigle, and she appeared on several projects with her family members before releasing her self-titled debut EP in 1999, launching a critically acclaimed career as a vocalist and songwriter. Lucy, meanwhile, originally trained to be a schoolteacher and didn't begin pursuing a musical career until she was in her mid-twenties, when she joined half-brother Rufus Wainwright as a backing vocalist in his live show; Lucy released her first solo album, Lucy, in 2010. In 2015, Martha and Lucy began comparing notes on the songs their mothers sang to them when they were young; the conversations led to their first collaborative recording, Songs in the Dark, a collection of lullabies both traditional and unconventional. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi