While we remain dedicated to promoting the wonderful Canadian music scene to a much wider audience, sometimes we also want to share other artists with our Canadian friends too. With our occasional “Commonwealth Connections” features, we look at non-Canadian artists that have either gained popularity in Canada, or are just now breaking into that musical market. Naturally there are artists from our side of the border that we actively follow too, and having caught one of our favorites live in concert very recently, felt that we would love to share their wonderful music with our readers too.
It was just a few weeks ago that I happened to see an announcement on Twitter that the Indianapolis, IN based sister-duo Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz (Lily & Madeleine) had been added as an opening act to a show at Jammin’ Java in VA. We first discovered this duo about three years ago, when their sophomore full-length album caught my attention in a Baltimore music store. Making one of those impulse purchases, a quick spin of the CD introduced us to a wonderful pop-folk act that combined intelligent songwriting with great voices and equally great harmonies. I fell in love with the track “Fumes” immediately, and Lily & Madeleine became permanently etched on my musical radar. Of course, as is typical when you find a new artist; you quickly discover that they played in a town near you not too long ago, meaning any opportunity to catch them live had passed, and their names joined a list with many others of acts to hopefully catch next time around.
Ever grateful to that one tweet that gave us plenty of notice to secure tickets for the show, we made the southbound journey to VA to catch a short (opening duties), yet very enjoyable set from these genuinely talented young ladies. Making their way onto the stage, Madeleine took her place at the keyboards while Lily strapped on her electric guitar, and with a quick nod to commence the show, the sisters launched immediately into “Fumes.” Staying with this album, they would follow with “Rabbit,” before pulling out both “Hourglass” and “Chicago” from their most recent “Keep It Together” album. Mid-way through their performance, Madeleine shared with the audience that they received a request prior to the show for “Devil We Know,” and satisfied the audience with a great rendition of this track from their self-titled debut album. When given the opportunity to perform one extra track, the sisters returned to this album and closed the show with “And Tonight.”
With an announcement that they have been busy writing material, and have around fifteen new tracks to consider for their next album, Lily and Madeleine naturally offered to share some new tunes and road-test them live. For the first of two new tracks, Lily traded places with her sister to take the lead on both the keyboards and vocals for “Go.” Madeleine would also present one of her compositions, and shared a track titled “Circles.” With one slot left to fill, the girls would describe an outdoor charity benefit concert that they participated in back home in Indiana, where several stages were named after specific artists. Being assigned to a ‘Simon and Garfunkel’ stage, Lily and Madeleine declared that they loved the music of this popular act, and knocked out a fantastic cover of “April Comes She Will.”
Lily and Madeleine may have only had a brief 35 minutes under the spotlights over the stage, but used their time very effectively and engaged the audience for the duration of the set. Shorter songs work well for an opening act, and allowed both sisters enough time to share harmonies whilst splitting lead vocal duties. Making themselves available to meet their fans immediately after the show, we are grateful to both Lily and Madeleine for the chat, and we sincerely hope that you can return very soon as a headlining act in your own right. It would be wonderful to hear much more from these two very talented young ladies. Highly recommended.
- Go ***New***
- Devil We Know
- Circles ***New***
- April Come She Will (Simon & Garfunkel cover)
- And Tonight