Lily and Madeleine
Keep It Together
New West Records - 26 February 2016
Keep It Together, the spellbinding new album from acclaimed duo Lily & Madeleine, will be released 26 February on New West Records.
Recorded at home in Bloomington, Indiana with producer Paul Mahern, who also helmed Lily & Madeleine’s lauded debut and second albums, the 10-song long-player is a mature and dynamic statement from two distinct musical personalities, grounded and bound by kinship, that melds seamlessly into an ethereal and enthralling collection. With the help of friends and touring band members Shannon Hayden (cello, mandolin, guitar, Moog) and Kate Siefker (drums, percussion, guitar, bass), Lily & Madeleine take their songs into exciting new territory. Album opener, "Not Gonna," sets the tone for the album and serves as a confident mission statement both thematically and musically as the duo’s beautiful melodies and impeccable harmonies are buoyed by orchestral strings, electronic flourishes, analog synth, piano and a pulsing groove.
Keep It Together is the sound of Lily, 18, and Madeleine, 21, asserting themselves as young women and very much coming in to their own as they learn to navigate adulthood and all that comes with it. On “For The Weak,” an upbeat, chiming slice of indie rock, the pair pine, “so I just gotta know/Is hoping for the weak,” while the sultry “Chicago” deals with a love affair in the Windy City. The album culminates with the devastating “Nothing,” that sees the protagonist self empowered after a broken heart.
Of the project, Madeleine comments, “Working with a closer knit team of just four ladies helped tighten our sound and unify each track into a complete collection. The title of the album is a lyric from the first track ‘Not Gonna,’ which Lily wrote. This simple phrase has a lot of meaning to us: keep your shit together, keep our relationship as sisters together, pressure to keep our image a certain way as young ladies.”
Lily adds, “Along with reflecting on the personal bonds that Madeleine and I both have, I also really wanted to focus more on the bigger picture and write about the experience of being a white woman in America and a collegeage kid in the 21st century. As I attempt to further discover who I am as an individual, the way society wants me to define myself is becoming clearer. It seems to me that young people are the same everywhere: regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic class. All young adults are in the same boat, trying to figure out what makes us individuals and trying to find our value in society.”
The new recording comes on the heels of the prolific duo’s highly-regarded second release, Fumes, and is the their third full-length album in three years, following an EP and two LPs on Sufjan Stevens’ label Asthmatic Kitty. Of their last effort ELLE Magazine said; “... the twosome, known for their pinpoint harmonies and vocal precision, had no reservations about flipping the script this go-round: They amped up the production and gave their new album… a far more bombastic sound,” while NPR Music wrote, “Fumes is a misleading record, the way a masterfully performed dance is misleading: It looks easy only because the complexities behind it are unfathomable to outsiders. There’s a borderlessness to Lily & Madeleine that leans from seamlessly natural to mesmerizingly preternatural, hinting at deeper forces at work than skill and practice.”
Since their debut in 2013, the duo have performed on significant US TV and radio outlets including CBS’ “This Morning,” KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic,” NPR Music’s “Tiny Desk Concert” series and “A Prairie Home Companion.”
Here in the UK Lily & Madeleine have received plaudits from The Sunday Times, Independent on Sunday, Elle, Marie-Claire and Uncut, as well as receiving a Guardian New Band of the Day piece for their debut as well as a double page spread in The Independent. Fumes was Album of the Day on 6 Music and the band have toured extensively in the UK, including a performance at End of the Road in 2014.
Asthmatic Kitty - 27 October
National Press Campaign
Lily & Madeleine’s goal is to release an album-a-year for three years — a rare feat when the trend among singer- songwriters is to space albums by half-decades. So far, they’re on track: Fumes, the duo’s second LP, will be released October 27, 2014 — 366 days after last year’s Lily & Madeleine. The album is a leap forward for the duo, a mature sentiment of two gifted young artists who have launched from their hometown onto the world stage with speed and grace.
When Indianapolis sisters Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz first started making music together, it didn’t cross their minds that they could make a living at it. Although they now find themselves in an acclaimed full-fledged career, what got them here has nothing to do with money and everything to do with the spirit.
“The music will always be first,” says Lily. Indeed, Lily & Madeleine’s artistic souls are obvious to anyone who has heard their recordings. From the beginning, the sisters’ calling card has been the breathtaking and intuitive union of their voices.
When the two come together in ecstatic and seamless “blood harmony” it’s a sound that continues to haunt long after the songs are sung, leaving an electrical charge behind like a sparkling tracer in the air. Lily and Madeleine are, however, equally distinctive as soloists as they are as harmony singers. When they step out individually as vocalists, Lily’s warm, smoky alto is the counterpoint to Madeleine’s crystalline, bell-like soprano.
That calling card is just as clear on their new material as it is on the cover songs the duo uploaded to YouTube for fun in late 2012. It was through these first videos that producer Paul Mahern, a staple of the Midwest music scene and frontman for punk band Zero Boys, recognized something special in the sisters’ sound and enlisted the help of songwriter Kenny Childers (Gentleman Caller). Mahern challenged the girls to write a song a day, with Childers as mentor.
It’s that experiment that would become Lily & Madeleine’s first EP, The Weight of the Globe. In early 2013, they released a sparse, simple version of first single, “In The Middle,” to YouTube. When a neighbour of Lily and Madeleine shared the video on Reddit, the song hit the site’s front page. Within hours the video received over a quarter of a million views. It also attracted the attention of Asthmatic Kitty Records. They quickly signed Lily & Madeleine and issued the EP on 10-inch.
Just a month after Globe dropped on vinyl, the duo re-entered the studio and recorded their self-titled debut, which was released in October 2013 to both critical and fan acclaim. With a two page feature in The Independent newspaper, a Guardian New Band of the Day pick, new artist pieces in The Sunday Times and Independent on Sunday, the duo also received praise from Women’s glossies such as Elle and Marie Claire and a full page feature in teen mag, Bliss.
Since that release, the sisters have toured worldwide, including a sold-out U.K. tour and will be appearing at End of the Road in August 2014. They’ve played on live US TV (a slot on CBS “This Morning”) and played and a very special capacity performance at the historic 1,200-seat Circle Theater with their hometown Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Yet, amidst all of this attention, the girls have remained modest, sticking to hard work as their imperative.
As young as they are, Lily, 17, and Madeleine, 19, are their own women. The songs on Fumes acknowledge childhood’s end and announce the entrance into adulthood—a place where the road ahead is unknown and sometimes dark. Facing the darkness head on, Lily & Madeleine at times hark back to the female-driven post-punk band The Raincoats, delivering a distaff perspective that is equal parts beauty and toughness, sugar and salt.
Many of the songs on Fumes also touch upon movement and transition, from leaving a situation to “find out who you are” (“Lips and Hips”), or to escape (“Cabin Fever,” “Ride Away”). The album is very much a travelogue that speaks to the essence of a restless creative spirit, and the sisters’ desire to break new ground.
“Fumes,” says Madeleine, “shows our transformation as musicians and as women, and was inspired by our experience on the road as well as the life experiences of people close to us. It's a perfect reflection of this stage of our lives.”
"wonderful… their voices are crystal clear; their lyrics describe a world altogether murkier." The Sunday Times
“Never mind Difficult Second Album Syndrome . . . Fumes, an even better follow up.” Independent on Sunday
"Fumes is bewitching but never too glossy and the harmonies are sublime." The Daily Mail 4*s
"Undoubtedly Fumes indicates the progression of the duo’s ability to weave more intricate soundscapes into their work” The Line of Best Fit