Super excited to share February’s Artist Of The Month! I discovered this artist right before 2018 came to a close and their lead single off of their upcoming album has been in my queue on Spotify quite frequently since. I had the amazing opportunity to ask Lily & Madeleine some questions about their upcoming album & tour. But first, I wanted to share some basic info on the sisters before diving into the Q&A. I hope you walk away from this blog post with brand new musicians to fall in love with!
Name: Lily & Madeleine Jurkiewicz (Stage name Lily & Madeleine)
Age: 21 & 23
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Genre: Folk pop
For Fans Of: First Aid Kit, Joseph, Liza Anne, Kacey Musgraves
Label: New West Records
Get to know them: Lily & Madeleine started making music together just for fun way back when they were in high school. The idea of writing and recording their own songs didn’t happen until they crossed paths with a local producer. They quickly realized how well their vocals worked together and the creation of a duo came naturally, as they were both able to share life experiences and had always had a great relationship. A video of them performing went viral and landed on the front page of Reddit, which garnered the attention of Sufjan Stevens – whose label later released the sisters’ first EP, The Weight Of The Globe. Since then, Lily & Madeleine have three full length albums and have toured extensively.
Why You Should Care: Lily & Madeleine’s fourth album, Canterbury Girls, is their most refined and personal album to date. Lily and Madeleine are at their most vulnerable, as they take the listener on a journey through the complications of growing up in 2019 as a young woman dealing with love, self discovery, desire and more. Lily & Madeleine are consistent in their songwriting and sound but have a chameleon like ability to weave different styles of music effortlessly into what makes their music memorable. By incorporating soul, folk, synth pop, Canterbury Girls converges the complications and ups and downs of life. Some of my favorite moments from the record come from “Bruises” – a track midway through the album that explores the hardships that come with finished relationships and the way they shape all of your future ones. The following track, “Pachinko Girls” makes you wonder if you’ll ever have a moment to yourself where you can stop thinking about the one person who will always be on your mind (The answer is no).
But perhaps my favorite moment of Canterbury Girls happens to be the very first song I heard by Lily & Madeleine: “Just Do It.” I’ve personally have been trying to live with the mantra of going for the things I want without being scared or second guessing myself, “Just Do It” perfectly exemplifies that.
Chicago Haze: You’ve noted that Canterbury Girls is the first album out of the four where everything feels like it’s completely yours. How was this creating process different than what you’ve done in the past?
Madeleine: This time around we didn’t filter any of our songs through other people; we decided to make them completely our own. We also worked with new producers which I was nervous to do at first, but it was a wonderful experience.
Lily: Because we were able to take our time writing this album, each song we included feels more deliberate to me. Like we’re telling the full story that I want to tell and there are no throwaway tracks.
Chicago Haze: ABBA was one of the inspirations for this album and I can totally hear it in your sound. Who else are you inspired by?
Madeleine: We were definitely inspired by the fun disco vibes of ABBA. We also felt inspired by the moodiness and drama of Lana Del Rey, the pop elements of Lykke Li, and the alternative rock sounds of Beck, among others.
Lily: We had a lot of jazzier reference tracks and lots of waltzes too. And awesome female singers like Nancy Wilson and Feist.
Chicago Haze: Canterbury Girls was produced by Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk, who just worked on Kacey Musgraves’ Grammy-winning album Golden Hour. How did this collaboration make you feel or what did it make you excited for?
Madeleine: Working with Daniel and Ian was a dream come true. Those two are ridiculously talented and have such a good vibe together in the studio. Lily, myself, Daniel, and Ian played every instrument on this record so all the tracks are cohesive.
Lily: We didn’t really know what to expect because previously, we’ve made all of our records the same way. I was a little nervous too because we only had like 10 days to make the whole record! But working with Ian and Daniel was such a breeze, they’re both so talented and easygoing and awesome. And we’re psyched about the success they’ve had with Golden Hour!
Chicago Haze: If you could collaborate with anyone, whether it be on a track or in the studio, who would it be?
Madeleine: I’d be interested to collaborate with a pop or hip hop artist like Drake or Ariana Grande. I think it would be a fun challenge.
Lily: I think being on a big, loud, psychedelic record would be cool. Like the kind of music Temples makes.
Chicago Haze: What is one thing that you hope your fans take away from this album?
Madeleine: The themes of this record are pretty angsty, and I hope that listeners feel connected to us and our music in a way that they didn’t before. I think in the past our music hasn’t been as direct as it is now.
Lily: I hope our fans are excited about our progression as artist. Sometimes I get antsy thinking people aren’t going to like Canterbury Girls because it’s so different from the softer folk records we’ve made in the past, but growth and change and progress is such a vital thing to me. Canterbury Girls is my favorite record we’ve made so far.
Chicago Haze: You’re about to embark on your most extensive headlining tour to date. What are you most excited about?
Madeleine: I’m soo excited to just hit the road! We’re going to be doing a lot of driving so I need to stock up on good podcasts to listen to! I’m also excited to be playing some new venues and new cities we’ve never visited before, like Montreal.
Lily: Yes playing Canada will be so cool! And I think we might have our little brother play a few songs with us at our hometown show in Indy.
Chicago Haze: Anything else you’d like to add?
Madeleine: We’re excited to be back in Chicago playing one of our favorite venues in the midwest, Schubas. I think Schubas was one of the first venues we ever played outside of our hometown of Indianapolis so it means a lot to be able to come back with this new record.
Canterbury Girls is out on February 22. Click here to preorder it.
Lily & Madeleine embark on their #CanteburyGirls tour on Feb. 18 in Connecticut and hit Chicago on March 2.