Since their debut single Maybe You which saw its release way back in 2012, Swedish/Australian sister duo Say Lou Lou have made it onto just about every Ones to Watch list in the music sphere. The pair have released a string of successful, dream-pop influenced singles and EP’s over the last 3 years and have just delivered a stellar full-length set in the shape of the radio-friendly collection, Lucid Dreaming.
Ahead of the release of the duo’s debut effort, one that has been several years in the making and one of the most anticipated releases for a new artist over the last decade, we were lucky enough to track the band down and have a bit of a chat with band member Miranda about the girls’ first album, their influences and their songwriting process. Here is what she had to tell us:
Brendon Veevers: How are you and where does our interview find you?
Miranda Kilbey: We are fine and dandy, writing this from our tour bus driving through the Swedish spring landscapes!
BV: The past couple of years have been huge for Say Lou Lou with the release of a few singles, an EP and being named as the next big thing by many around the world. How are you enjoying the musical ride so far?
MK: It’s unreal to have people believing in you and supporting your music, we’re so blessed! When things started taking off, we only had two recorded songs and had never stood on stage before, so the past two years has just been focused on writing the album and learning how to play live, and through that, inventing ourselves as we’ve gone along.
BV: The records release has been a long time coming. What has been the delay in getting Lucid Dreaming released?
MK: Lots of annoying practicalities and logistics are the prime reason for the delay, including changing labels, developing our own and changing our name (two years ago).
BV: Why did you decide to call the record Lucid Dreaming? How do you think the title connects with the songs on the record and the band?
MK: ‘Lucid Dreaming’ as a phenomena means to be awake inside a dream, which in our opinion is a beautiful notion. We wanted the songs on the album to sound dreamy and ethereal, just like we wanted the songs’ narratives to be like fragments from our dreams and memories, whether it’s a surreal disco nightmare like in Glitter or an adolescent love dream like in Wilder Than The Wind..
BV: We named Everything We Touch as our favourite song of 2014 and the track opens the new record. What would you say is your favourite track on the record?
MK: Wow! Yay! Makes us happy to hear!
It’s hard to name the favourite of the album, all of the songs on there are already a selection of all the songs we’ve written the past years, but a special one for us is Hard For A Man.
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BV: Your music is very electro-pop influenced with elements of numerous other genres thrown in for good measure. Who would you say have had the biggest influence on you in the music industry and why do you regard them as such important influences?
MK: Kate Bush, Tori Amos, PJ Harvey, Feist, Emiliana Torrini, The Cardigans, David Bowie, Cocteau Twins etc. etc.
Would never dare claim we sound anything like any of these artists, but they have inspired us by being innovative and because they’ve always stuck to their guns and created their own worlds surrounding their music.
BV: How will you know when things have really taken off for Say Lou Lou – how do you define the bands success?
MK: Defining a band’s success is difficult, because there are so many different aspects of success. We like to think of Say Lou Lou’s success in terms of personal development as songwriters and live performers, and feeling that you’re reaching out to people and connecting with them.
BV: What’s the best thing about working in a sister duo?
MK: That we’re always in sync and have the same point of reference in the creative process. And being sister makes touring easier and more convenient.
BV: Are there any acts out there that you would love to collaborate with or tour with and if so, who would they be and in what capacity would you like to see a collaborative project?
MK: -Would love to collaborate with Johnny Jewel/Chromatics and record some songs together, see where it leads.. Also, would love to write a ballad with Natasha Khan (Bat For Lashes).
BV: Is there a certain role that each of you play within the band in terms of songwriting and getting the other organized. What are the strongest qualities that you both feel you bring to the table that compliments Say Lou Lou as a band?
MK: In terms of songwriting – no, not really, our roles when it comes to the creative the roles are similar and equal. Vocally Elektra is softer and huskier, and I have a higher range and sharper voice, together we feel we create one stronger voice. In terms of everything surrounding the creative, we try to use the good cop bad cop approach, one of us lays down the law and the other one softens the edges so we stay on good terms with everyone we work with, haha.
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BV: What’s your songwriting process like? Are you perfectionists when it comes to putting a record together? Where do you draw inspiration form when putting together a new song or album? Does it come from real life experiences or is it from a more observational perspective?
MK: It’s different and changes depending on who we’re working with, and what the mood is. Generally the two of us work with a third individual who creates the music and production while we write melodies and lyrics, or we do everything together. It can start in any end, a lyrical idea, a chord progression, a melody..
We wouldn’t call ourselves perfectionists, or maybe we would, haha. But we have a hard time letting go unless we feel we’ve done everything we could do, and that everything sounds juuuuust right. But we presume most creators are very anal in that way, no one wants to let half done things out into the ether.
We draw inspiration from life, our relationships, our experiences, films we’ve seen, stories we’ve heard. Other music that we love. Sometimes we try to take a more observational perspective, or we pretend we’ve seen and experienced things we never have, that’s exciting. We can live a hundred lives that way.
BV: Will you be heading out on the road to promote the album at all this year and if so, where are you hoping to touch down for shows?
MK: We have one week left on our Scandinavian tour, then we play London, followed by east and west coast dates in America. Then we’ll do summer festivals in Europe. Hopefully we’ll get to Oz this year.
BV: Aside from the release of Lucid Dreaming, what else is on the calendar for 2015 that fans might be able to look forward to?
MK: In the near future; our short film music video for Nothing But A Heartbeat, coming soon..
Say Lou Lou’s brand new album Lucid Dreaming is out now!
::: RenownedForSound.com’s Editor and Founder –
Interviewing and reviewing the best in new music and globally recognized artists is his passion.
Over the years he has been lucky enough to review thousands of music releases and concerts and interview artists ranging from top selling superstars like 27-time Grammy Award winner Alison Krauss, Boyz II Men, Roxette, Cyndi Lauper, Lisa Loeb and iconic Eagles front man/songwriter, Glenn Frey through to more recent successes including Newton Faulkner, Janelle Monae and Caro Emerald.
Brendon manages and coordinates the amazing team of writers on RenownedForSound.com who are based in the UK, the U.S and Australia.