Taking a selection of songs from their latest LP, Fumes, Lily & Madeleine have recorded acoustic versions for their new EP, Blue Blades. These acoustic songs highlight the sister-duo’s ever enchanting blood-harmony. Blue Blades includes five tracks from their sophomore LP, Fumes, as well as their version of Alex Turner’s, of the Arctic Monkeys, “Stuck on the Puzzle.”
From the beginning, the Lily & Madeleine's calling card has been the breathtaking and intuitive union of their voices. 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. When they step out individually as vocalists, Lily's warm, smoky alto is the counterpoint to Madeleine's crystalline, bell-like soprano. Those who first fell in love with the disarming beauty of Lily & Madeleine's voices on their debut EP "The Weight of the Globe" and their full-length follow-up "Lily & Madeleine" will find the same otherworldly harmonies on their new release "Fumes". With ten dazzling tracks, this record finds the sisters once again teaming with esteemed producer and manager Paul Mahern and stellar songwriting collaborator Kenny Childers. As the sisters have grown as people and artists, so has their sound evolved. The scope is broadened here. The music is expansive, the instrumentation multi-layered. This is an entrancing production that allows both singers to stretch out in new directions. Like the sun slanting through a window in a Vermeer painting, it’s an experience that captures the subtleties of both shadow and light.
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Like truth, beauty resides in simplicity. When it manifests itself, it doesn’t require elaborate arguments or proofs; you can’t debate someone into apprehending it. It’s apparent and all it requires is appreciation, or perhaps even love. Such are the songs of Lily & Madeleine.
Understandably, when their debut EP, The Weight of the Globe, came out earlier this year, much was made of the fact that Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz are teenagers: Madeleine is eighteen and her sister is sixteen. Surely, that’s important given the impressive talent on display. On that release as well as on Lily & Madeleine, their debut album, 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 here. They are not afraid of fragility or vulnerability.
The songs on Lily & Madeleine trigger profound emotional effects. The shimmering recollections of that summer, that girl, that kiss, the scent of that evening air, the heat of those afternoons, all float in and out of consciousness as these songs play, transporting you to the world inside you that knows everywhere you have been, but that does not know time, or its passage, or its end.
Written over the course of their summer vacation and recorded in three days, The Weight of the Globe is a musical snapshot by teenaged sisters Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz at a pivotal moment in their lives.
Each song on The Weight of the Globe was written as a discrete, self-contained folk-pop statement, but due to the real-time circumstances of recording it, the EP holds together like a collection of interconnected short stories. Taken as a whole, the songs chart a journey from love to disillusionment to heartbreak; the narrator's weariness in "Tired" persists into "Things I'll Later Lose" ("I've been hearing things, and I've been losing sleep"), while the words to "Back to the River" seemingly return to the same mythic river that flows through "In the Middle."
There's nothing calculated about The Weight of the Globe. As sincere as it is precociously sophisticated, it marks the auspicious debut of a strikingly talented musical family.