// Album Recommendation

Lily & Madeleine

Lily & Madeleine

(2013)

"Someday, I'll find the right words
I will belong or I will wander
Somewhere, over the mountain
Under the great sky I’ll be all right.”

 

Lily and Madeleine Album Cover

Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, sisters Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz only started singing together as a duo when they were both attending high school. Soon, however, they were uploading home videos of cover songs on YouTube that caught the attention of Indiana-based producer Paul Mahern who invited the two precocious teenage girls into his studio to record some songs with him. The resulting recordings can be heard on The Weight Of The Globe, an E.P. released on Sufjan Stevens’ independent record label Asthmatic Kitty.

Just five months later, the sibling duo released their charming self-titled debut album, co-written with local songwriter Kenny Childers. Even though the sisters are natives of Indianapolis, the wistful and contemplative songs on Lily & Madeleine exude a vibe that’s more rural than urban, a down-to-earthiness rather than a self-conscious indie-hipster attitude (though the stylish album cover suggests otherwise). Lily & Madeleine’s tight, beguiling, Appalachian-style harmonies -– and evocative lyrical lines like “And the porch swing keeps swinging on / Long after your body’s gone” –- bring to mind grain fields swaying gently in the breeze, trickling creeks, and the scent of fresh mountain air.

Various instruments are introduced throughout the album –- acoustic guitar, piano, violin, slide guitar, a string section, pedal steel, tambourine, snare drum –- but the songs are all so sparsely and tastefully arranged that each and every composition sounds like a masterclass in subtle yet lush and richly atmospheric songwriting. Songs worthy of special mention are the piano-based, violin-tinged Sounds Like Somewhere, the jaunty I’ve Got Freedom (replete with hand clap sound effects), the luminous first single Come To Me, an authentic-sounding ‘60s-inspired Folk/Folk-Pop tune, and the equally retro-esque Goodbye To Anyone. Like all young people, Lily & Madeleine Jurkiewicz look ahead to the future with great excitement, anticipation, and wonder –- sentiments conveyed by some of the lyrics (“Someday I'll find the right words / And I'll bloom where I was planted long ago / Until then, I'll be waiting / Hoping, to one day let go”) –- and listening to the timeless Lily & Madeleine, the sisters' future does indeed sound very promising.

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