Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz create candid music with deep emotional and personal resonance. The sisters, who record under the moniker Lily & Madeleine, boldly explore what it means to be women in the 21st century, and aren’t afraid to use their music to call out injustices or double standards. This fearless approach has permeated their three albums, which are full of insightful lyrics and thoughtful indie-pop.
But with their fourth studio album, Canterbury Girls—named after Canterbury Park, located in their hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana—the sisters are coming into their own as women and musicians.
“This is the first record Lily and I have ever done where we have full control over all of the songwriting,” says Madeleine. “We did co-write with some people that we really love. But everything on this record is completely ours. I feel like I have full ownership over it, and that makes me feel very strong and independent.”
That assertiveness reflects new geographic and professional realities. For starters, Lily and
Madeleine—who are now 21, 23 respectively—moved to New York City in early 2018. And
instead of recording Canterbury Girls in Bloomington, Indiana, which is where they recorded their previous efforts, the pair headed to Nashville to write and work with producers Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk. “I feel like it was time for us to leave the nest and move on and try to make a record our own way,” Madeleine says. “We decided to work with some new people, and it turned out to be the best decision, because we finally figured out how to voice exactly what we wanted in the studio.”
Using an eclectic playlist of songs as sonic inspirations—soul tunes and waltzes, as well as cuts from Midlake, ABBA and Nancy Wilson—Lily & Madeleine worked quickly, recording Canterbury Girls in just 10 days. They spent the first half of the studio sessions working out the framework of the songs with Tashian and Fitchuk, and the rest of the time fleshing out the music with additional instrumentation, harmonies and other arrangement details.
“By the end, I felt like the songs had their own life; they had their own energy,” Madeleine says. “It was incredible to see them blossom so quickly.”
Although Canterbury Girls contains plenty of Lily & Madeleine’s usual ornate music—including the languid Analog Love, on which twangy guitars curl around like a kite twisting in the wind—the album also finds the siblings exploring new sonic vistas. “Supernatural Sadness” is an irresistible slice of bubbly, easygoing disco-pop; the urgent “Pachinko Song” hews toward interstellar synth-pop with driving rhythms; and Can’t Help The Way I Feel” is an effervescent, Motown-inflected number. Vocally, the sisters also take giant leaps forward. The dreamy waltz “Self Care” is a rich, piano-heavy track on which their voices intertwine for soulful harmonies, while the meticulous “Just Do It” has a throwback, 70s R&B vibe.