Free Thought is a folk-rock duo on a mission.

“Our job as musicians is to open people’s eyes to the fleeting world around them,” says lead singer and songwriter Jen Vanderlyn. “It’s a world taken for granted all too often.”

It’s a world embodied on Free Thought’s debut CD, “In Her Eyes,” released in 2009.

Jen and Kate Vanderlyn have been making music together since they were children, singing in talent shows and at church.

With their dad, a former disc jockey, playing them Electric Light Orchestra instead of lullabies, and their mom a music lover exposing them to music ranging from country to opera, playing music seemed the inevitable destiny for these sisters from Morris, Conn.

“I’ve always felt I’ve had a natural talent for making music,” says Kate, bassist and harmony singer. “I don’t think I really chose to go into music, it’s just what I was meant to do.”

After picking up the guitar at 11, Jen studied songwriting by exploring her dad’s LPs. She soon began writing songs of her own and emulated at first writers like Donovan and James Taylor. Today, her influences include Bruce Springsteen and The Strawbs’ Dave Cousins.

In high school, Jen studied voice and guitar at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and used the techniques she learned there to shape her resonant voice and develop a rhythm guitar style reminiscent of Richie Havens.

But she and Kate have only been Free Thought since 2005, when Kate picked up the bass. Since then, they’ve performed at coffeehouses and town greens in Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island and New Jersey.

“We enjoy playing the larger venues, but there’s something to be said for the intimacy of playing in a coffeehouse,” Jen says. “The atmosphere sends us back in time to an era when folk-rock was the predominant way to bring people together.”

Recorded at BackRoom Studios in Roxbury, Conn., “In Her Eyes” embodies Free Thought’s mission: to encourage the appreciation, interpretation and expression of life’s natural beauty through creativity and an openness to the ideas of others.

And with social commentaries like “The Pony” and personal reflections like “Sunday Morning Station,” “In Her Eyes” is also an album inspired by the musicians who have gone before them.

“It’s very much like those albums we grew up listening to, from the way we’ve arranged the songs to the themes we’ve incorporated into our cover art,” Jen says. “The album’s a journey, a musical photo series that begins in a dream and ends up in reality.”