Album Review: Lily & Madeleine – Fumes

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3.5

Lily & Madeleine are sisters Lily Jurkiewicz and Madeleine Jurkiewicz.  Fumes is the American sibling’s second album in two years, and like their self-titled debut album from 2013, is also released on Asthmatic Kitty Records.

Fumes is such a sweet song to begin with, and immediately feels like a breath of fresh, gorgeous December air, with Christmas tree lights twinkling away in the background. Track two, the talkative Rabbit, stabs and jabs, before giving way to Ride Away, reminiscent of Simon & Garfunkel at their roll-necked sweatered best.

Can’t Admit It is softly sung, but lacks any obvious hooks. Cabin Fever rocks in at the mid-point of this ten song journey, and manages to be both energetic and easy going at the same time – quite a musical feat, demonstrating their skill and dexterity. Song six, is The Wolf Is Free, which is a little too pedestrian for my liking, however, maybe that’s the idea, as the hunted (wolf) doesn’t actually want to be captured by the hunter, so glad the game is drawn out.

This is followed by Hold On To Now which is a dreamy drifter of a composition.  Lips And Hips is kissably good, and cut nine, Peppermint Candy is certainly sugary. Blue Blades rounds off the album with an almost prog rock riff buzzing right through, and is pure original.

Overall, there’s no doubt in my mind that Lily & Madeleine are the real deal. Their vocals are appealing, and all ten numbers are well crafted.  Also obvious to me, is that they have successfully tried out some interesting twists and turns on this record, which makes the album a hard one to classify – it’s not just simple folk-pop.

I really would love to award this album 5 stars,  and suggest that their third album will get them there. This band is still evolving, a quiet revolution rather than a loud bang. Really nicely done with a lightness of being.

Mark Watkins