Lily & Madeleine - Canterbury Girls - - Soundblab

Lily & Madeleine - Canterbury Girls

by James Weiskittel Rating:8 Release Date:2019-02-22
Lily & Madeleine - Canterbury Girls
Lily & Madeleine - Canterbury Girls

Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz, otherwise known as the singer-songwriter duo Lily & Madeleine, were something of an artistic oddity when their self-titled debut was released to rave reviews back in 2013. The duo’s combination of earnest, heartfelt lyrics, and lush, layered harmonies were a welcome breath of fresh air: indie-pop minus any hints of self-effacing artifice. But while Lily & Madeleine went on to release two more sold, well-received full-lengths, their latest release, Canterbury Girls, is in many ways a musical reset for the midwestern-duo.

Recorded in Nashville and Co-produced by Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk, Canterbury Girls finds the Jurkiewicz sisters (who are now in their early 20’s) stepping away from the youthful whimsy of previous releases. As one would expect, the complexities of adulthood have permeated their new material on nearly every level.

The jaunty, album-opening waltz “Self Care” provides a subtle hint of what is to come while the back-beat-riding soul of “Supernatural Sadness” cleverly pairs lyrical melancholia with one of the album’s most danceable tracks. Meanwhile, handclaps and plucky synths propel “Just Do It” while the mournful title track channels some of the album’s most adventurous textures via Morricone-esque orchestral embellishments - it’s the kind of ear candy that never gets old.

From there, the album dutifully swings from understated balladeering (“Circles”, “Go”), and uptempo romps (“Pachinko Song”, “Analog Love”), all the while retaining an air of confidence that has been missing on past releases. It should also be noted that Lily & Madeleine’s individual voices are as complimentary as ever: it’s nearly impossible to tell where one begins and other ends. And while the glossy production might rub some longtime fans the wrong way, it’s hard to argue with the desire to try something new when it comes to folk/pop.

If anything, there’s an almost-tangible excitement permeating much of Canterbury Girls, and for good reason, as the album is a huge step forward for the Jurkiewicz sisters; a point that sister Madeleine recently elaborated upon: "This is the first record Lily and I have ever done where we have full control over all of the songwriting. By the end, I felt like the songs had their own life; they had their own energy. It was incredible to see them blossom so quickly.”

Lily & Madeleine are beyond the point of having anything to prove. With four albums under their collective belts, the duo has managed to outlast and transcend any initial notions of novelty. And in an era where it all boils down to the final product, Canterbury Girls is perhaps best summed as one hell of a pop album.

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Great review of another brilliant album. The gals keep moving from strength to strength. So sad the public hasn't discovered them yet.They're so much better than what's in the charts.

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