Lily & Madeleine

Lily and Madeleine


The music career of teenage singer-songwriter sisters Lily & Madeleine Jurkiewicz, from Indianapolis, Indiana, started as a hobby. Youtube cover videos began to gradually draw a lot of attention, including that of a respected producer, and eventually, one song went viral. Encouraged to start writing original material, Lily and Madeleine joined Sufjan Stevens’ label Asthmatic Kitty, and released their first EP The Weight of the Globe and their first full-length album Lily & Madeleine in 2013. 

Lily and Madeleine are 17 and 19, respectively. By nature of being young, successful, new artists in the music world, they automatically draw comparisons to others related by age, such as Lorde, Bieber, or Miley; I’ve even seen comparisons to rappers Tyler, The Creator and Earl Sweatshirt, which is probably one of the largest leaps in association out there. Extreme differences in genre, background, and personality aside, Lily & Madeleine have the right to be rising in the big leagues by demonstrating their maturity, especially musically. Age has something to do with their talent, but is far from the sole reason they should be noticed.

Much like the oft-compared folk sister duet First Aid Kit, Lily & Madeleine’s music holds the gift of “blood harmony,” which is the ability to blend voices in a way only siblings can. In many of their songs, they sing together, then, all of a sudden, one of them breaks off into harmony, giving the effect of one voice splitting into two. It is a unique sound, probably benefited by closeness of the sisters; in interviews, they claim to never fight. The two know each other inside and out, which makes writing music together an activity of sibling bonding, not of sibling rivalry.

In one of their more upbeat-feeling songs Lily and Madeleine draw on the emotions of spring time: the changing of the season comes with some storms and dreary days, but at least some good comes out of the uneasy transition to summer in the “Devil We Know:”

April, I can hear your anger a-marching
Here it comes again
And the flowers will forgive your rage and your barking
Here it comes again
The grass is dying, and the water comes to revive it
Here it comes again
The great whisper across the plains gives to thunder
Here it comes again
There's a tree line somewhere nobody knows
We've been pining and now were soaked to the bone
We've been pining and now we want to go home
It's the devil we know
Lower the curtain, let the rain come down like a spirit
Let it hit the ground
Come the memories, come the shivering cold, let the rain fall
It's the devil we know  

~ Kendra Kamp


Calvin performances

  • with Shannon Hayden
    May 9, 2014; Ladies Literary Club