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The Daily Tar Heel

Music Review: Lily & Madeleine

Lily & Madeleine
Lily & Madeleine
Acoustic folk

Sisters Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz took a chance putting their soft folk voices out into a world currently fixated on more aggressive genres. With its first full-length, self-titled album, the duo composes a restrained collection of simple ballads that illuminate both innocence and staggering self-awareness. While the album is classically beautiful and refreshing, too many songs of such delicacy and purity come across as fairly lackluster, even boring.

Its songs are focused entirely on two distinct musical personalities: Madeleine shows off with a smooth and silky singing style while Lily adds a mild, earthy edge. On every track, the sisters blend into seamless harmonies created with such ease they could only be the product of musicians who have known each other their entire lives. However, this inherent closeness is what keeps the album from pushing any boundaries, and playing it safe yields very little reward.

The album opens with “Sounds Like Somewhere,” a tender piano ballad filled with gospel-inspired lyrics. Here, unhurried drama builds as the listener is pulled further into the tangled harmonies and tempestuous emotions.

Tracks like “Nothing But Time” and “I’ve Got Freedom” introduce some variety into the fairly dull whirl of slow-tempo tunes. These songs utilize hand-claps, acoustic guitars and hints of tambourine rattle to pull in popular folk inspiration.

Lily & Madeleine sounds like music of another era, not the work of a pair of sisters born less than two decades ago. The duo presents itself without excessive embellishment, confident that each track will captivate any audience. Such a refreshing take on young musicianship deserves praise. But while well-intended, the songs are simply too overwhelmingly sweet for one sitting and fail to evoke any deep emotion.

Olivia Farley

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