What is it about the Hoosier state that fosters such promising young musicians? Since moving here I’ve discovered a number of acts with remarkable talent who aren’t even old enough to buy a beer.
My latest find is the sisterly duo of Lily and Madeleine from Indianapolis. I caught wind of them a few weeks ago and discovered they have a new album, Fumes, on the horizon and are mounting tour to support the new record.
Fumes, due out on Oct. 28 from Asthmatic Kitty, is stark, delicate and emotive – expertly blending folkier acoustic instrumentation, energetic indie rock and gorgeous vocal harmonies with subtle electronic swells and ethereal atmospherics.
The gals tell me this is reflective of their differing tastes. Madeleine is more into the folky singer-songwriter stuff. “I would say folk is not my favorite,” says Lily Jurkiewicz, the younger of the group. “I’m a little more into the electronic.”
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This musical combination is great, but what really blew my mind was the lyrical content. As an old soul nearing his 30s, I was supremely impressed with the wisdom encapsulated in Lily and Madeleine’s songs. The lyrics are profound and worldly, delivered with such confidence that it simultaneously makes me nostalgic for my tempestuous teenage years and jealous I didn’t have such talent at their age.
“Being a teenager is really difficult sometimes,” says Madeleine Jurkiewicz, the oldest of the pair at just 20 years old. “That’s where we get our inspiration. We’re using our writing like a diary sometimes.”
Fumes is a new step for us as artists,” Madeleine says. “It 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.”
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For the follow-up to 2013’s Lily and Madeleine, the girls once again tapped Paul Mahern to produce. “He’s incredible at what he does,” says Lily. “He makes us feel totally creative.”
Kenny Childers of Gentleman Caller, a stalwart of the Bloomington music scene and long-time collaborator with Lily and Madeleine, also returned to contribute to Fumes. However, they did branch out a bit for their sophomore full-length.
“We had so much success with the first one,” says Madeleine. “We decided to change our sound a little bit. Dedicating more time and working with new artists in the studio allowed us to better create the sound we wanted.”
On Oct. 24, Lily and Madeleine will kick off their fall tour in Indianapolis at the Deluxe at the Old National Centre. Ohio-based husband and wife folk group Over the Rhine is set to support.
“For the Indianapolis show we’re able to bring in a full band,” says Lily. Several other stops will include a full band, but for most of the tour multi-instrumentalist Shannon Hayden will be backing the girls up. Madeleine says, “She adds the glue to our set.”
To get complete tour dates, music or more information, visit lilandmad.com.