Siblings Lily & Madeleine excited to tour with Brett Dennen
Sisters Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz, simply known as the duo Lily & Madeleine, are poised for some big adventures in the music business.
One of the big things to come their way is a tour with folk-pop singer and songwriter Brett Dennen, which will include a stop at O.P. Rockwell on Saturday.
“Our amazing booking agent got us this gig,” said Madeleine during a joint telephone interview with Lily from their home in Indianapolis. “Brett was looking for someone to go on tour with him. We are fans of his music and it was the perfect opportunity and we’re excited about this.”
The tour is one of many opportunities the sisters have taken advantage of in three short years as a professional recording duo.
They have already collaborated with Son Lux and John Mellencamp and have been featured on NPR and KCRW, and that’s really something for the two who grew up listening to the Killers, Arcade Fire, the Shins, Jojo and Regina Spektor.
“We played music all the time growing up and took piano lessons for a number of years,” Madeleine said. “I was in musicals, and we were in bands and whatnot.”
When the two got into high school, they began making cover music videos because that was the thing to do.
“All of our friends were doing it, but through the videos, we met a producer, Paul Mahern, in Bloomington, through a family friend,” Madeleine said. “Lily and I didn’t know what we wanted to do after high school, so Paul suggested we write and record our own music as a fun project. And that turned into a career. It all happened so quickly.”
“Keep It Together” is the duo’s third album, and follow-up to 2014’s “Fumes.” And it’s Lily’s most personal album to date.
“I felt like I wanted to really write the songs, so, they are more specific to my life,” she said.
That doesn’t mean it was unnerving to reveal more of herself to her fans.
“It’s satisfying to perform those songs because they matter more to me, and as time goes on, they start to mean different things to me,” Lily said. “I think it’s more genuine.”
Madeleine agreed, although she was a little more tentative about the experience.
“I did a couple of tracks that are more Madeleine songs and I also like to write from a personal perspective,” Madeleine said. “While it does scare me sometimes, as Lily said, it’s more satisfying than scary, because to be able to sing something so personal and have people relate to it feels great.”
Still, the sisters did collaborate on everything.
“This record is unique for us because we arranged the songs with a band that was comprised of Lily and me and our friend [cellist and mandolinist] Shannon Hayden and [drummer] Kate Siefker,” Madeleiene said. “So, it has a full band feel and that was cool to do.”
Mahern returned as producer, and he introduced Siefker to the siblings.
“She studied music at Indiana University and got an audio degree,” Madeleine said. “She is incredibly talented as a musician and performer and engineer.
“So, we started touring with Kate before we recorded ‘Keep It Together,’ so our relationship as a four-piece solidified,” Madeleine said. “We had worked with Shannon for many years and she has been featured on all of our albums and EPs and we have toured with her in the past, so it made sense for all of us to come together to record and arrange this record.”
Unfortunately, Hayden and Seifker won’t perform at the Park City show.
“It will just be us as a duo, but that’s fun, because the show feels more personal,” Lily said. “For example, with the full band there is more room for error. If I mess up, the others can cover.
“However, the upside with playing as a duo, is that we can focus more on the lyrics and the emotional side of the performance because I don’t have anyone to hide behind,” she said.
Selecting the songs to play as a duo takes on a different feeling when selecting songs for the band, according to Madeleine.
“It’s basically the same, but we have to think about what songs we can do without percussion and auxiliary instruments,” she said. “Still, playing the songs as a duo is cool for our audiences because they get to hear different versions of these songs.”
The Park City show will feature new songs from “Keep It Together,” Lily promised.
“We’re also planning to do a mix of everything,” she said.
Lily & Madeleiene will open for Brett Dennen at O.P. Rockwell, 268 Main St., on Saturday, Sept. 24. Doors open at 7 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.oprockwell.com.
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Some of the recordings are of radio broadcasts from decades past, and some of the recordings are from Beethoven Festival performances from the past few years.