Lily & Madeleine
There’s something inherently incongruous about the music of Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz, a pair of slight teenagers with singing voices this assured and worldly. Their first EP, The Weight of the Globe, sounds like something out of another age, not the work of a pair of sisters born less than two decades ago. No wonder that, on the strength of their viral video performances, Lily & Madeleine managed to sell out the first two live shows of their career, and enlist the help of Asthmatic Kitty Records.
Their songs are the product of two distinct musical personalities. Madeleine, the older sister with a light, smooth singing style, leans towards folkier, singer-songwriter fare; Lily helps lean the duo towards its gentle rock edge, and has a dark, earthy voice to match. But their voices blend into seamless close harmonies, created with the natural ease that could only come from a pair of musicians who have known each other literally their entire lives.
The recording project that became the Weight EP started with producer Paul Mahern, who’d fallen in love with the duo’s earlier YouTube videos, acoustic covers of a handful of favorite songs, and immediately got in touch to invite the sisters into the studio. Lily & Madeleine started writing their first original tunes over summer vacation, and Paul introduced them to bassist and songwriting partner Kenny Childers, of the band Gentleman Caller, who helped them to refine the material.
In October of the same year, Lily & Madeleine released their debut LP, the self-titled Lily & Madeleine. On it, these two young women sing with a spare elegance that’s all the more breathtaking for seeming to come to them so naturally. Both Lily and Madeleine can sing powerfully, but you will find no show-off pyrotechnics on Lily & Madeleine. They are not afraid of fragility or vulnerability. As with all the best family bands, their harmonies sound effortless, two distinct expressions of the same idea or emotion. It’s a style of harmony that is so subtle that it could almost be singing in unison, so entwined are the voices. It’s a sound that only blood relations can deliver. Lily and Madeleine treat their voices as instruments that are in service to their songs. They are vehicles of feeling and meaning. They do what they need to do to reach your heart. No more, no less.