92.3 WTTS, MOKB, Do317.com Present
Lily & Madeleine
502 North New Jersey St
Indianapolis, IN, 46204
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
Lily & Madeleine
Keep It Together is our third full length album and it’s a bit of a departure from our last two records. We arranged all the songs with our friends Kate Siefker (drums, percussion, synth, bass) and Shannon Hayden (cello, guitar, mandolin, synth). Working with a closer knit team of just four ladies helped tighten our sound and unify each track into a complete collection. Our live performances with Kate and Shannon will be will be very tightly arranged because they were directly involved in the orchestration/recording process.
Lily and I wrote many of the songs separately and came together to revise/finish them. I hope listeners are able to see our unique personalities through our different lyrical themes. “Keep it together” 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.
Women, and young women especially, are multifaceted, yet are often trapped in certain roles. As Nicki Minaj has said, “If you speak up for yourself, you’re a bitch. If you party too much, you’re a whore. Men don’t get called these things.” I admit I’m constantly afraid of saying something too “edgy” and offending someone or being “too nice” (what is too nice??) and not being true to myself. Lily and I started making music when we were teenagers, but we’re adults now and we’re thinking about the future. I don’t want to be afraid of my future because I’m a young woman. I want to do my best to be my best and create kick ass art without hesitation.
One of my favorite tracks is “Nothing,” which I wrote. This song is a dramatization of personal experience. While writing this album I thought about my romantic relationships and friendships and considered how these bonds affect me positively or negatively (or both). I’ve learned a lot about myself through my musical career so far and these songs sort of look back on who I was a year ago and who I’m becoming now.
Keep It Together is the most personal body of work that Madeleine and I have created. It feels especially vulnerable to me because I was a lot more involved in the writing process for this album. Each song represents a moment in time that is either a past memory or an event that I could experience in the future: these songs feel just like little parts of me.
This album is very honest too and has a good mix of drama and simplicity. I wanted some of the songs, like “Westfield” and “Smoke Tricks”, to feel like simple and steady streams of thought, which balances out the drama of songs like “Chicago” and “Nothing”.
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 college age 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. I see the same situations reoccurring within my age group: my peers are dealing with eating disorders, drug problems, and abusive/manipulative relationships constantly.
Madeleine and I are used to answering the same unintelligent questions (“What’s it like being sisters?” “Do you ever worry about picking out the perfect outfits for your performances?” “What do your boyfriends think about dating someone famous??”), but I believe with this album, people will pay more attention to our creation instead of our appearances and our “story” as a band. I can only speak for my own experiences, but my greatest hope for this album (as with every album we make) is that people will continue to listen closely and relate.
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.
“Their voices can pierce through the chaos of everyday life and actually make you stop what you’re doing.” American Songwriter
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 & Madeleine however, are 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 sister’s 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 neighbor of Lily & 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 of 2013 to both critical and fan acclaim. Of the music, Jon Pareles of the The New York Times writes, “the thing that flags them as extraordinary is their sibling vocal blend, deep and seamless and relaxed,” while American Songwriter describes, “Their voices can pierce through the chaos of everyday life and actually make you stop what you’re doing.”
Since that release, the sisters have toured worldwide, including a sold-out U.K. tour and a very special capacity performance at the historic 1,200-seat Circle Theater with their hometown Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. They’ve played on live national TV (a slot on CBS “This Morning”) and were crowd favorites at 2014’s Lotus Festival. Yet, 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.
“The thing that flags them as extraordinary is their sibling vocal blend, deep and seamless and relaxed.” New York Times
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.”
Fumes arrived October 28th, 2014 on Asthmatic Kitty Records.
Gentleman Caller Vs. The Elephant picks up where Until We Are Missing (Affirmation Records, 2006) left off – the songs are inhabited with ghosts, haunted bodies (both water and human), past loves and a sense of hope that refuses to be stifled. There’s a full-on plague, but it’s one you can dance to (“The Locusts”). The epic stories and brutally beautiful truths are served up hiding in plain sight among some of the catchiest, most instantly foot-tap worthy music being created today. And that’s just one of the elephants in the room. Musically, the band seems to channel the intertwined spirits of Jesus and The Mary Chain, The Plastic Ono Band, The Kinks and John Prine.