Lily and Madeleine are sisters from Indiana whom last year released their third studio album called Keep It Together. They have been touring the Country on it, and for a couple of sisters from Indiana they could not be more grateful. Over the past few years they have been gaining success and growing up through their music. Pressures of being something they are not, can at times be hard, but they have battled through and released a record that for them is, “the most personal body of work that Madeleine and I have created,” in the words of Lily. Beginning as teenagers with writing songs, and now as young adults the growth is heard through the record. I was given the opportunity to talk to these women about the latest release, and their music in general.
Moose: How did you get started playing music?
Madeleine: We started taking piano lessons when we were in elementary school and played for years. Before lessons we were singing around the house with our mom and dancing to movie soundtracks. So music has always been in our lives.
Moose: Who has been your biggest influence?
Lily: That's a very broad question haha. I think from an artistic/musical standpoint it's impossible to pick one influence, but personally I think our parents are our biggest source of support.
Moose: What made you want to play this form of music?
Madeleine: Writing folk/pop music is easy and fun! Writing harmonies is my favorite part because it adds a magic element to every song.
Lily: Mostly because it came very naturally to us and there aren't many gimmicks to singer/songwriter music.
Moose: Being young and extremely talented, how have you gained these successes? (With three full length albums under your belts, and such)
Madeleine: We owe much of our success to the amazing people around us. We've been so lucky to work with some great managers, fellow musicians, labels, booking agents, and our parents and teachers.
Lily: Yes, obviously the people we work with are fantastic! I also think Madge and I wouldn't have the career we have if we hadn't dedicated ourselves as much. We both quit school and put a lot of things in our personal lives on hold in order to give our all to music.
Moose: How has your songwriting changed or grown in comparison to what you were writing or playing years ago?
Lily: I've definitely gotten more confident and comfortable in my songwriting and now I'm able to try more interesting things lyrically and musically.
Moose: As for the latest record, where do the songs come from? (What voice lead to write these particular tunes? In a sense)
Madeleine: A lot of the songs on Keep It Together were inspired by experiences we've had on tour over the past 2 years. Figuring out who we are as women/sisters/artists, exploring much of the country, making goals for the future.
Lily: Yes I think Keep It Together is very straightforward in its subject matter. It's about me, Madeleine, our friends, and the expectations we face as young women.
Moose: What are your hopes for the future?
Madeleine: I hope to release another record in 2017 and tour more in Europe.
Lily: Definitely go to Europe and make another record that hopefully feels even better than the last.
Moose: What are you currently working on if anything?
Madeleine: We're working on a music video, prepping for our upcoming tour with Brett Dennen, writing new music, and thinking about where we might like to live if we decide to move out of Indiana.
Moose: How is touring going so far?
Madeleine: Tour is a blast! And it's also exhausting. I like to have a daily routine and sleep in the same bed every night, so tour is a lot to keep up with. But visiting so many cities is a ton of fun.
Lily: I love touring because it's so immersive mentally and physically. Every moment is filled with something new.
I have had the pleasure of listening to the record a few times, over and over again, and considering what they have previously done I would say they are coming into their own. I wouldn’t call it a departure, as some have said, I would say this album is a reflection of who they are becoming, or maybe who they are now, and music is about exploration. Whether it be through sounds, timing, or words and they are exploring them all. I found “Keep It Together” to be a pleasure to listen to. With the help from two of their friends: Kate Siefker (drums, percussion, synthesizer, and bass on the record) and Shannon Hayden ( cello, guitar, mandolin, and synth) they have orchestrated 10 songs worthy of multiple listens, and the exploration and depth of the songwriting ebbs and flows like waves coming to shore then back out again.
As I like to do with everyone I asked them one final question: why music? Why did you decide on this?
Madeleine: To me singing feels as natural as talking. It just makes sense to make music. I'm super grateful that I'm able to do it for a living.
Lily: It's the best vehicle I have for expressing who I am, what I want, and how I feel.