Lily & Madeleine – Keep It Together (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 37:15 minutes | 765 MB | Genre: Folk
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: 7Digital | Front Cover | © New West Records
Keep It Together, the third album in just over three years by Indianapolis-based sisters Lily & Madeleine is a spellbinding ten-song statement is the dynamic product of two distinct musical personalities, bound by kinship, melding seamlessly into one ephemeral and dreamy collection. After releasing two critically acclaimed albums on Sufjan Stevens’ Asthmatic Kitty Records and selling out myriad shows both in the US and overseas the imminent release of Keep It Together finds these young women of only 21 and 18 positioned to become a household name.
Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz have been making and releasing music since they were in high school. In 2012, after publishing cover songs on YouTube, the sisters were picked up by a record label, and from then on began to gain recognition for their haunting, self-aware lyrics and intricate melodies.
For what appears to be a team that grows together, Lily & Madeleine have brought back producer Paul Mahern for album three, Keep It Together. He produced both their spare debut and the more expansive Fumes, and here they continue in the direction of more complex arrangements and diverse sounds (there’s even a “sonic manipulation” credit). While electric guitars and echoey effects were introduced on Fumes, they’re more pronounced on tracks like “For the Weak” and the dense and dreamy “Hotel Pool” to the point that the folk label may be routed. Elsewhere, the sophisticated “Not Gonna” offers strings in support of piano, bass, and drums, with extended chords providing a jazzy flair absent from prior releases. The sisters are joined on the album by several guest musicians, including touring bandmembers Shannon Hayden and Kate Siefker, both multi-instrumentalists who help bring a group sound to the effort. The aforementioned “For the Weak,” for example, has rumbling, early rock tones and rhythms that achieve a classic girl group sound, if a modernized one. Later, “Small Talk” emits just a hint of ’90s Weezer. However, Lily & Madeleine’s distinctively warm voices and easygoing melodies are still the main course, and the magnified production works best on songs like “Chicago” and “Smoke Tricks,” where the vocal melodies lead more impressionistic accompaniment. “Smoke Tricks” introduces glitchy electronic effects right alongside cello and hazy synths, but movement in the song is dictated by the vocal line. Both high-school graduates by the time of release (for less than a year in Lily’s case), the record’s lyrics still do — and should — reference prom night and getting wasted. They also tackle heartache and regret in line with their music’s dissatisfied and melancholic tone, which has always seemed beyond their years. On Keep It Together, what they lose in intimacy with the amplified environment, they gain in musical maturity, which only seems fitting. ~~ AllMusic Review by Marcy Donelson
01 – Not Gonna
02 – For The Weak
03 – Westfield
04 – Chicago
05 – Hourglass
06 – Hotel Pool
07 – Smoke Tricks
08 – Midwest Kid
09 – Small Talk
10 – Nothing