Indiana band Lily and Madeleine back with a brilliant third album
Indiana sister act Lily & Madeleine are back with a superb third album. They talk to Brian Campbell about Keep It Together, PledgeMusic and getting turned away from gigs for being too young
YOU can tell how close sisters Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz are when you realise that they can write 'autobiographical’ songs about each other.
The Indiana siblings – who go under the stage name Lily & Madeleine – release their superb third album, Keep It Together, today.
One of the best songs on the album is the simmering closing track Nothing, which features lines including 'Took a bus up to see you... When I arrived, there you were holding flowers/ For a girl who wasn’t me’ and ends with the sentiment `You’re nothing'.
“I wrote most of that song. It’s a little bit autobiographical,” says Madeleine, before Lily interjects, “It’s about my relationship.”
“When I listened to it the first time, I was like 'You wrote a song about my life and didn’t tell me, Madeleine?!’ But it’s a great song. It was hard for me to sing at first, but it’s actually fun now,” says Lily, the younger of the two.
“I didn’t know that it was hard for you to sing,” says Madeleine, addressing her sister. “We are really close as sisters and friends, so I was just inspired to write about this relationship that Lily had. For a lot of people, that’s their favourite song. But overall this is not a break-up record.”
The album also has what is arguably Lily & Madeleine’s best song to date – the sublime For The Weak. Featuring the melodies and harmonies the pair are known for, the song also has some great drumming from Kate Siefker and truly epic electric guitar from Shannon Hayden. If Rabbit was the big tune on L&M’s last album, Fumes, For The Weak is its equivalent on the new one.
“That’s our most rocking song, I would say; it’s the most up-tempo one on the album and it’s pretty fun to play live,” says Madeleine. “Our tour is going to be more with electric instruments instead of acoustic ones, so there’s definitely going to be more of an electric feel to it. It’ll be fun and new.”
The band – then a three-piece with Shannon but now a four-piece with Kate – played Belfast in December 2014 and they enjoyed their gig at McHugh’s.
“We had a lot of fun there. It was in the basement of a really cute bar. It was really nice,” says Lily. “Once this album is out, we’ll hopefully get over to Ireland again in the summer or the fall.”
While the last two L&M albums came out on Asthmatic Kitty, the label founded by Sufjan Stevens, the new one is out on New West.
“We’d been with Asthmatic Kitty for about three years and released two albums and an EP and they were a wonderful label, but we thought this was a good time to see about moving and it worked out really well with New West. It hasn’t seemed that different,” says Lily.
They started a PledgeMusic campaign to part-fund the album, whereby fans who pre-order the record get exclusives such as signed vinyl, handwritten lyrics and unique Polaroids.
“We’d never heard of PledgeMusic before, but our label suggested it and it’s a great platform,” says Madeleine.
There’s even a 'ticket for life’ (for $460) that gets you tickets to see every L&M gig in your city 'forever’.
“People have already pledged that amount for the golden ticket,” says Lily.
While people in bands get to see more gigs than anyone, Lily admits that she has quite a problem getting to see live music.
“I tried to go to see Shannon, our guitarist, play a show a few weeks ago but I couldn’t get in because I’m not 21, which was a bummer.”
“That’s not an issue in Ireland, but it is in the States,” says Madeleine. “I turned 21 last year and it’s great that I can get into shows now and see all this music, but it sucks that Lily is technically too young to go. It’s stupid, but what can we do?”
The new album features a long list of fantastic tunes, among them Hourglass, Hotel Pool, Not Gonna and Chicago. If there’s any justice, Lily & Madeleine should become huge.