Ever since Lucid Dreaming, the stellar new and long awaited debut album from Swedish/Australian sister duo Say Lou Lou arrived in our inbox a few weeks ago it has been incredibly hard to give anything else our attention.
The girls – Miranda and Elektra Kilbey –have been a hot commodity ever since they released material under the now defunct stage name of Saint Lou Lou back in 2012. A swap of Saint for Say followed a year later and a few singles and EP’s were offered under the revised name of Say Lou Lou and ever since the girls released their debut single, Maybe You, they have frequented Ones to Watch lists around the world but to get a full length release from the pair has almost been like trying to draw blood from a stone.
The pair has been teasing us with a release date for the past year and the infectious dream-pop drenched singles that the dup have offered us in the meantime have kept the momentum high and the anticipation for something a little more substantial to be delivered by the twosome. And that’s where Lucid Dreaming comes in.
Combining a musically influential upbringing – their father is Steve Kilbey of Australian band The Church and their mother a member of Swedish punk outfit Pink Champagne – as well as their evident attachment to 80’s synth-pop acts, Say Lou Lou have delivered a record that satisfies the 3 year wait since they offered us their debut single.
The LP boasts a memorable set of 11 dream-pop influenced gems including several of the singles that the band have offered us in the long lead up to the album’s release.
Opening the new album is Everything We Touch, a track that is nothing short of divine. Exquisite in melody and flowing with beautiful harmonies and hooks from start to end, we had no hesitation in naming this track as the best single release of 2014. It’s all about attention to detail with this opening number and you can hear that this was applied in the production of the track which really is truly exquisite. The faultless vocal delivery from Miranda and Elektra who single in unison on the track, like most of the inclusions on this record, give you the feeling that they really feel the most at home on this track than any other from within the album.
The girls swing effortlessly between slow jams like the sentimental Beloved and up-tempo nu-disco club-inspired nuggets like the Lindstrom produced Games for Girls and the sensual Glitter which provides Lucid Dreaming with one of its most attractive features and a potential future single.
Peppermint is as sweet at the title suggests with an undertone of Lana Del Rey sitting modestly within the track as violins sway beneath the duo’s seductive whispers and groans while Julian is another solid go-to classic within Lucid Dreaming with its contrasting instrumentation and sophisticated dream-pop melody and tale of fleeing love.
Wilder Than The Wind is Lucid Dreaming at its most mellow; a gorgeous ballad that boasts a soaring chorus and a flowing vocal arrangement that encourages a repeat play as soon as the track comes to an end.
Nothing But A Heartbeat is the latest single to make it out of the Say Lou Lou camp as a single cut and yet again proves that the duo seem quite incapable of releasing a dud single. Its mellow verses pair beautifully with its contrastingly energetic chorus which is complimented by a subtle orchestral backbone.
There are a couple of obvious omissions from the Say Lou Lou catalogue for those like myself who have followed the bands career from inception including debut single Maybe You and Better In The Dark, both of which would have been welcome additions to the record given their consistent and rich electro-pop qualities.
Lucid Dreaming is every bit the memorable and fresh yet sentimentally nostalgic full-length debut that we have been waiting for from the girls for the past 3 years. We expected it to be a great album and they have really outdone themselves and met every one of the expectation that I had prior to diving into the record. This is the type of release and the type of new and original artist that makes me love the job that I do and reminds me of the reason for starting Renowned For Sound back in the day. Thank you Say Lou Lou!