REVIEW: Lily & Madeleine – Fumes

We love moving quickly in a relationship, but Indianapolis sisters Lily & Madeleine are on double speed, considering they made their US TV debut in October 2013 and are already on their second studio album release. Riding the waves of digital revolution, they amassed a First Aid Kit-like YouTube following that most girls with guitars can only dream of. But these dreams came true with gusto and culminated in a swift second collection of songs for the young band, arguably one out to prove that social-media-spawned does not equate to a lack of artistic integrity.

Fumes certainly sounds more full-bodied and upbeat than their debut, with the opening title track and Rabbit flowing into one another as if to welcome you into this glorious girls’ world with open arms. Ride Away is another très American, mid-tempo, country sounding track that makes the album, dare we say it, ‘easy listening’ (read: a good buy for your pops this Christmas).

Vocally it’s impossible to fault the magnetic harmonies and haunting canon phrases such as those in The Wolf Is Free that can only come from two people with a familial chemistry. However pulsing production on Can’t Admit It and Cabin Fever somewhat outdoes the lyrics that populate most of the tracks on this album (read: repetitive chorus lines that your pops will have nailed by New Year). The lyrical simplicity doesn’t detract from its beauty, it just stops it being mind-blowing. Perhaps the poetic surges of similar predecessors of the folk-pop throne such as Aimee Mann and Fiona Apple are something that will come with time, age and experience.

Blue Blades, the perfectly placed final track on the album, is definitely the edgiest and most sultry offering and it has us excited about the future for Lily & Madeleine. Let’s hope this quick turnaround on two albums in as many years isn’t Asthmatic Kitty’s way of making hay while the sun shines on this pair. There’s evidence here to suggest a career that could have legs as long as their own glossy all-American pins.

Nikki Gandy

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Lily & Madeleine - Fumes
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