Release Date: Apr 21, 2015
Record label: Orchard
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Dream Pop, Synth Pop, Electro
Say Lou Lou are a duo comprising Miranda and Elektra Kilbey-Jansson, twin daughters of Steve Kilbey – frontman of 1980s Australian rock band The Church – and the Swedish musician Karin Jansson. Their début album Lucid Dreaming landed in April following a tortuous gestation period. First the sisters had to change their name from ‘Saint Lou Lou’ following an alleged copyright infringement, then their deal with Columbia fizzled out after what Miranda has described as a “classic case of commerce and creativity that didn’t mix”.
Not all music needs personality. Get over it. EDM mostly survives on the tempo and nuance of the beats, and the strobes. Great sections of pop music are sold on over-sexualised videos, all soft porn focus and black and white beach shots. And no personality. For every Robyn or Sky Ferreira there’s ….
For twin sisters Elektra and Miranda Kibley-Jansson, the events of the past year might have felt like fragments of a jubilant dream sequence. Heavily tipped at the start of 2014, they’ve been thrust to the forefront of Sweden’s already bustling pop pantheon off the strength of a few singles – and with the arrival of their first full-length, they seem to be making reservations for a spot on the entire globe’s pop royalty roundtable. Thematically centred around the concept of dreams – if the collection’s title wasn’t transparent enough – ‘Lucid Dreaming’ weaves together sparkling synths and reverb heavy pianos with the pair’s pristine vocals to orchestrate an evocative dream pop soundscape.
During the three years between the release of Say Lou Lou's first singles and the arrival of 2015's Lucid Dreaming, Elektra and Miranda Kilbey developed their music so much that only a handful of their early songs appeared on their debut album. Chief among them is "Julian," which, with its tale of lovers on the run and windswept synths, remains the template for the sisters' dreamy storytelling and mood-setting. Elsewhere on Lucid Dreaming, they give that alluring haze different forms, and some of the biggest departures make for the brightest highlights.
Review Summary: As enjoyable as it is frustrating. "Are we really who we pretend to be?" Twin sisters Miranda and Elektra have quite the pedigree, being the daughters of Steve Kilbey (from Australian alt-rockers The Church) and Karin Jansson (from Swedish punk band Pink Champagne). However, as Say Lou Lou, the twenty-three year olds predominantly eschew their upbringing and specialize in a dreamy brand of electro-pop that treads a fine line between acclaimed indie coolness and commercial accessibility.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. Australian-Swedish twin-sister duo Say Lou Lou are often compared to Abba, but their roots to the '80s go much deeper than that since they're the daughters of The Church's Steve Kibley. It's admirable that Elektra and Miranda strive to create a sound that isn't really around anymore, but maybe that's why it doesn't totally work.
Lately it seems like 1980s revivalism won’t subside. But there’s something wistful about the latest variety. The synths have the sculpted plastic bigness of Aquanet coifs, the rhythms sway like prom dances, and the lyrics seem tailored toward movie makeouts (or at least heavy stares). It’s become the default sound for a certain rising artist: think small-pop as mall-pop.