Release Date: Oct 29, 2013
Record label: Asthmatic Kitty
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Indie Folk
Arriving just five months after their debut EP, the beguiling Weight of the Globe, the eponymous debut long-player from harmonious (and precocious) Indianapolis-based teen siblings Lily & Madeleine Jurkiewicz doesn't disappoint, offering up a 12-song set of Fleet Foxes, Staves, Smoke Fairies, and First Aid Kit-inspired, Midwest-bred melancholy that both celebrates and laments the eternally overcast teenage heart. More Charlotte Bronté than Jane Austen, the Jurkiewiczes may tackle some of the same girlish themes as their contemporaries, but Taylor Swift they are not, opting for a more timeless, classical, and occasionally existential esthetic that lends each song a subtle yet consistent degree of emotional heft, especially on sterling cuts like the sublime, gospel-tinged opener "Sounds Like Somewhere," the evocative "Devil We Know," and the lucid and engaging first single "Come to Me. " The arrangements, more often than not, are as tasteful as the songs are pristine, allowing the sisters' genetic disposition toward harmonic consensus the room to bloom, while introducing the occasional string section, weepy pedal steel, and galloping snare drum, all of which are peppered sparingly throughout, imbuing the album with a warm, '70s soft rock/country-pop patina that evokes images of hall trees strewn with scarves and carelessly hung jean jackets, and dining room tables piled with mail, large vessels of coffee, and half-emptied plates.
Lily and Madeleine are precocious teenage sisters from Indianapolis with voices as blameless as cornflowers. They blend together perfectly on this debut album of melodic acoustic folk, but it's a melding so perfect as to be (churlish though it sounds) pretty boring. Innocence doesn't tend to be interesting and their best songs are the ones hardened with an edge of sorrow, like the careworn Paradise.
There’s no immediate tipoff that Mallu Magalhães is Brazilian on her United States debut album, “Highly Sensitive.” Ms. Magalhães, who is 21, sings the opening songs in American-accented English, casually slurring words and not worrying unduly about exact pitch. Most of her music is 1960.