Lily & Madeleine - Fumes
Indianapolis sisters Lily & Madeleine set tongues a wagging with the release of their impressive self-titled debut of last year. Fusing locked harmonies and old-before-their-time songwriting with simple yet effective arrangements, they seemed to strike a chord with audiences on both sides of the pond. This second album proves that this was no fluke.
There's something eerie and unsettling about these songs, like those weird dark dreams that shimmer and fade as soon as you open your eyes. Maybe it's the minor key harmonies, or the languishing melodies that take their time and waltz past with an arrogant nonchalance. Whether it's the sweet melancholy of the title track or the adorable jauntiness of 'Rabbit', L&M seem to sweep the listener along, a willing passenger on their journey through Americana. Highlights include the dramatic 'Cabin Fever' and new single 'The Wolf is Free', with its soaring, Hollywood-style mid-section and spooky breakdown. The wonderfully weird 'Peppermint Candy' and the sad beauty of 'Blue Blade' ("Bluebird's body lies and no one's mourning / Nothing in his eyes, his feathers blowing") brings this haunting album to a close. The sisters have again delivered an album accessible enough to please a diverse audience but laced with just enough quirkiness to keep it fresh and interesting. Breathe deep.