February 25th, 2015 , by John Beeler
“Blue Blades” is one of our favorite songs from Lily & Madeleine’s Fumes. A dystopian jazz-ish piece that sounds like it marched off the set of Blade Runner, “Blue Blades” features the low growl of Lily until sister Madeleine chimes in on harmony half-way through the song. But the harmony doesn’t raise our spirits much; we’re too busy being hopeless about everything:
Bluebird’s body lies and no one’s mourning
Nothing in his eyes, his feathers blowing
The cold air stings and with it comes a warning
The wind rips through the night and kills the morning
The newly released music video, shot by director Laurel Cohen, captures the song’s loss and mystery and resignation. Why is Lily in the middle of the arctic (actually, it’s the shore of Lake Michigan)? Is it all a dream (maybe!)? What is that boat horn in the background at beginning (a tugboat?) Is it even possible to sing underwater (it is)? And where did Lily get that incredible coat (we don’t know)?
If we were to guess, this is the ending of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, only with women, instead of men, making it to a frozen wasteland (instead of a beach). We’re ok with that.
Thanks to NPR for premiering this gorgeous video.
Lily & Madeleine are on tour now.
August 4th, 2014 , by John Beeler
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 28, 2014, 366 days after last year’s Lily & Madeleine.The sophomore 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.
NPR’s All Songs Considered debuted “The Wolf is Free,” our first listen from the fall-bound album. It’s a wispy, ethereal, haunting song, a perfect summer track for that moment when the day turns to dark and the shadows start to loom among the trees. NPR Music’s Stephen Thompson, who’s heard the full record, praises, “This record has a little more of a kick to it…it’s fuller and more produced and more fleshed out…this whole record is zippier. I am excited about it.” Hear it on NPR here, or above.
June 7th, 2013 , by John Beeler
Lily and Madeleine are hitting the road for the first time.
“We’re kind of making it a family vacation,” explains Lily Jurkewiecz, the younger of the two sisters that make up the acoustic duo. Lily and Madeleine, who followed up their viral video success by recording an EP of original material, played—and sold out—their first-ever live shows earlier this year. Now their EP, The Weight of the Globe, has been picked up for a June 11 release by Asthmatic Kitty, and the duo is set to make a handful of appearances in the Midwest and Northeast.
The sisters kick off the summer with a show in their hometown of Indianapolis this Saturday, June 8, in the Deluxe Room at the Old National Centre, followed by their first-ever East Coast show at Joe’s Pub in NYC on June 11, and a June 12 performance at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.
They’re also excited about their upcoming performance at the Clawhammer festival in Oshkosh, WI, from July 20-21. “I’m looking forward to connecting with other musicians,” says Madeleine. “That’s going to be neat.”
Are they anxious or intimidated at the thought of playing their first shows outside of Indiana? No, Madeleine laughs. “People have asked us that, and I think like, ‘Am I supposed to be intimidated?’ I feel really good about it. It’s going to be like a whirlwind, I think, but we’re just along for the ride.”
After the full-band sound of Weight of the World, these live dates mark a return to the stripped-down sound of the duo’s home recordings—accompanying their own voices on keyboard and guitar—but the two look forward to heading back into the studio with the new material that they and songwriting partner Kenny Childers (Gentleman Caller) have written for their first full-length album.
The sisters hint that we can expect the new material to be slightly more optimistic that their melancholy first recording, thanks in part to the possibilities opened up by their sudden musical success. “The EP was mostly about the feelings of like anxiety and restless that come with being a teenager—teen angst—but the new stuff is more about the excitement of this new adventure” as musicians, says Madeleine; it’s “more positive. We’re excited about it.”
These summer dates mark a rare chance to see the two perform live. Lily is heading into her senior year of high school this fall, and Madeleine is off to start her first year of college. They’re taking their parents and younger brother along to the East Coast dates, which they’re looking forward to not just as a performing opportunity but as a change of scene.
“We don’t know what to expect from New York,” says Madeleine. “I’ve just been there once, and Lily’s never been.”
“It’ll be fun,” says Lily. “It’ll be a family adventure.”
June 4th, 2013 , by John Beeler
Director/photographer Allister Ann seems to have nothing but warm words for sister duo Lily & Madeleine, whose first music video drops today. Released in advance of their Asthmatic Kitty EP, The Weight of the Globe, Ann’s video for “Back to the River” marries the melancholy track to black-and-white footage of the sisters.
“Even though the song itself is very slow and almost nostalgic,” says Ann, “the girls’ vibrant charm needed to be portrayed, so what we hopefully ended up with is a good balance of representing the music and the artists.”
For Nashville-based Allister Ann, that meant balancing the sad nostalgia of the song against footage capturing the duo’s easygoing personalities. She scouted locations around the two young women’s native Indianapolis that matched the timeless qualities of the track, and wardrobe stylist Mizzie Logan outfitted the girls in a classic look to match.
“It was wonderful going into a town with a fresh pair of eyes,” says Ann. “The architecture and history of that city was so inspiring, with bits and pieces that reminded me of old Europe. Ultimately I chose places that I thought would best represent the feel of the song.”
The result is a clip that manages to seem nostalgic for the present, as if capturing the singers’ youthful energy in a time-capsule of vintage home movies. Ann says that he shoot itself was as much fun as it looks: “Lily and Madeleine are so sweet, kind and talented; they made everything effortless and were so easy to work with.
“Best of all,” she adds, “I made some new friends.”
See the video on Vogue.com here, or below.
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