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Free Music Friday: Lily & Madeleine

(The Verge) – Lily & Madeleine landed themselves in the final Free Music Friday for one reason: they make me feel lazy and unaccomplished. Aside from sounding fantastic, they managed to get signed to an indie label, release two EPs this year, toured the northeast and Midwest and have already recorded their album to be released in October. Oh, and they’re teenagers. Yeah, apparently some people don’t spend their entire summer watching Netflix.
Lily is entering her freshman year of college while Madeleine is still in high school, but don’t expect any teenage bubblegum pop here. Their EP, “Weight of the Globe,” is released by Asthmatic Kitty Records, a label owned by Sufjan Stevens. That translates to some pretty serious indie cred…
Oddly, they kind of sound like female versions of Sujfan Stevens. Their voices are on the lighter side (though not weak) in a way that sort of reminds me of Feist or A Fine Frenzy.
The first track of their 5-song EP is “In the Middle.” The video has garnered over 300,000 views on YouTube and started their career. The song is (for lack of better word), pretty. The girls harmonize along with an acoustic guitar, “The river is white/It’s tangled and dry/But I still remember you here/Swimming in the middle.” They use imagery in a way that’s really pretty. Honestly, I think it could lead to some really visually stunning music videos if they ever get the following required to pay for a big budget music video.

Image taken from: lilandmad.com
Image taken from: lilandmad.com

Their lyrics really are amazing, though. They have the potential to be scrawled next to the Taylor Swift lyrics written on the back of high school student’s notebooks. They’re relatable, but poetic (much more poetic than Swift). “Back to the River” starts with “If only my feet could fall as fast as a heart does/I would be so long gone.” Despite the fact that the girls really don’t tell us the specifics of what happened, the heartbreak and sadness are evident and palpable.They harmonize really well. “In the Middle” is pretty much entirely the two girls singing together; and “These Great Things” still doesn’t separate the girls’ voices much. They sound great, but I preferred “Back to the River.”
In the song, one girl sings the verses with just a few piano notes. The other sister comes in at just the right time to emphasize the line “I can’t get up.” As the second singer comes in more often, the music adds instruments and gets louder. It gives a kind of haunting effect. Eventually the song builds to where they’re both singing different lyrics at the same time with a full band. It works wonderfully.
The EP takes upbeat turns as well with songs like “Tired.” The song, ironically, is the most upbeat. It utilizes piano, drums, shakers, and electric guitar. It was a nice change of pace, but still kept their unique sound and relatable lyrics (“Maybe I’m just smaller/Crushed by the weight of the globe/Is it worth it?/I hope so”). Honestly, this is what an EP should do: it makes me excited to see what’s in store for their full length release in October.
Grab Lily & Madeleine’s free EP, “Weight of the Globe,” at NoiseTrade and for more on the duo and their new album, like them on Facebook.
Also, this is the last Free Music Friday! But as classes start, remember you can make your own free music discoveries on sites like NoiseTrade and Bandcamp.