posted on February 5, 2015 at 3:28 pm
                             lou and lou

SLL in Bondi

(with as much objectivity as i can muster)

it was with total surprise and delight in 2012

that i first heard say lou lous debut single the uber-haunting maybe you

of course i had always wanted my daughters (all of and any of them)

to go into the music biz although it verily is a vale of tears..

nevertheless it is now 2015 and here we have

lucid dreaming

Say Lou Lous debut album

it features some tracks you may have already heard and some brand new ones too

it may interest you to know that i cannot tell the girls voices apart

i was asking miranda about this at christmas and almost every guess i had was wrong

it seems the singing and lyric writing are equally shared and no easy rule to tell them apart

one thing they can do is get a naturally chorussing effect on their voices

i do this in the studio by double tracking my own voice with itself

it gets this sort of silvery sheen

of course SLL get this naturally without trying because their voices are ahem identical

jesus i wish i had born a twin . me and my brother would have cleaned up!

another thought strikes me:

what would the bands namesake auntie lou lou made of it all..?

the girls are the diametric opposite of every one of auntie lou lous qualities

she was always old and frumpy and such a wowser!

she was against sex and drugs and rocknroll. she hated david bowie!

she was big and quite ugly and pretty rude and always making sounds of disapproval.

although she worshipped my dad and my brother russell

i had long ago fallen foul of her indignation

my mother did not dig her that much either

although it was only years n years later she told me that

we both sighed with relief and some nostalgia that her reign of mild terror was over

auntie lou lou had made a lot of people feel disgruntled

SLL did meet ALL once

when they were just babies

i was not there

their mother karin had kindly volunteered to take the twins into hospital in canberra

where, sadly, lay ALL  in her late eighties stricken with cancer and upon her last days

so karin arrives and walks in the ward

ALL makes a huge effort to sit up in bed and gets a good long look at the twins

and then she looks at karin and with one of those noises she made (i’m sure) she announced

“They’re both Kilbeys!” in a triumphant and challenging tone ie they were totally and utterly kilbeys

and karin had merely been a vehicle to convey more of ALLs genetic imperialism

(i guess ALL considered me more of a Bennett than a Kilbey..)

anyway this is just to give ya some background to the whole damn thing

also say lou lou were called saint lou lou for a while

but had to change back to say lou lou for copyright reasons

ie an austrian c+w singer( the mind boggles at this inanity!) had a similiar handle

anyway i imagine ALL would have liked SLL better than TC (the church, ha ha)

so lets have a listen to Lucid Dreaming (great title) then

1 Everything we touch

a sorta oriental beginning leads into pretty good elektro-pop song

this one definitely contains the lou lou sound which will recur several times on this record

superior melodic the song came with a video of the girls in gold paint

the girls are incredibly photogenic too

in the flesh i always marvel at how young and sometimes almost scrawny they seem

but on camera they are magically reinvented

their angles and their weird identicality which has its paradoxic differences

strangely enough (and i never would have thought this before in rocknroll)

i think their good looks have slightly obscured things

and in sweden at least they are approaching that certain celebrity status

man there is a tempting decision right there

which path to follow the looks and celebrity..?

or the music ..because you can follow both for awhile and they will

but sometimes you start out one thing and end up another

so they instantly crashed into the spotlight as a total package-thing

there is a lot of pressure and a lot of decisions

it truly is not all dancing on clouds i of all people know that

the first song is a good start to this record

trainspotters may note

this song has a line days of ashes nights of flame

i used the ash and the flame metaphor in one of my songs too

i’m sure they never heard that song

it’s an interesting look into the kilbey lyric writing

that we both went for that



2 Glitter

look this one definitely has some abba-esque keyboards in the chorus

the twins constantly evoke abba whether its deliberate i dunno

their vocals sit together like those other 2 famous swedish chanteuses

that silvery effect i myself love

the song itself is an bit of a head tapping toe tapping number when the chorus kicks in

all that glitter all that foreign gold 

what a fantastic much implied but so little said

a lovely economy of words is used throughout the record

its never flowery its never vapid

it always contains some twists and turns

and ambiguity

look the girls are shaping up to be very very fine lyricists and melodicists

Glitter  is very cool and very sexy

it could have been used as a futuristic disco number in the film barbarella



3 Games for Girls 

i told one of em this was not my favourite track

and she said ; well we dont make music for you daddy!

its not a bad track per se

but it lacks the emotional oomph that all the other songs possess

i understand there are things about it i do not appreciate

however after seeing the girls perform this very song

at some glittering swedish award thingy

must admit i enjoyed watching their enthusiastic performance

they are grokking showbiz at an alarming rate



4 Julian

this sounds like minna singing at least in the first verse

this is another pretty good pop song like the first track

half rock half elektro

the twins rescuing some geezer fallen foul of the authorities

(after an hour in the car with both of them he might turn himself back in)

a well crafted and nicely ambiguous rescue ballad that i always enjoy



i dont who know that is singing the first verse i am confused: elektra?

then i think yes its miranda

a beautiful exciting chorus

its intentions are unclear

i like that; my songs are mostly like that

you hear the song but you can never quite figure out whats going on in there

you keep coming back for more



6 Peppermint

i cannot begin to tell you how much i love this song

everything about it is just so perfect

margot smith would have devoured this song

such a smooth groovy torch song

everything placed so well

the glissing strings the elektric piano

the b vox and the echoes which linger

very romantic but never schmaltzy

excellent work


7 Beloved 

miranda told me that her sister was singing most of this song

and in the first verse you can hear the difference between their voices a bit

but of course they can and do sing like each other too

it must be a fascinating opportunity to do vocal things

this is another torch song but more dramatic

once again somehow the spectre of ABBA is invoked there

theres a swedish sound and this is part of it

a moving and lovely song


8 Hard for a man

a good pop song with pithy lyrics and some good double entendres

its very much the lou lou sound that this record defaults to

the walloping e-drums the synth washes and the stacked vocals

interesting bit in the middle where it goes all echoey

and the backwards stuff at the end is cool too



9 Wilder than the wind

this is my downright favourite on the record

its just a bloody great song and everything combines perfectly

gorgeous melody

medium paced

bubbling sequenced synths

so romantic and so romeo and juliet or something

the song should come with a hanky it brings a tear

with its naive optimism and sweet sweet singing

great breakdown bit at the end sounds like goth

instant classic


10 Nothing but a heartbeat

the next single

and mining their usual vein of sophisticated smoothness

romance and melody

exciting and very single-y

yes lou lou can do this well

and they have shown us that on this record

maybe this will be the elusive bona fide hit single

whether it is or is not

i think they have mastered this form now

and must elucidate more on their next record

whatever that means but they will figure it out i’m sure


11 Skylights

great rocking optimistic triumphant song

some great bombastic drumming and e-horns and strings

we got to stay strong  they remind themselves at the end of each refrain

a fantastic everything-but-the-kitchen-sink ending

and a great finish to this record

you’ll wanna hear it over and over again



i have listened to this record a lot

these 2 women are purveying a total pop world

of lush melody and sweet harmony

ugly words and discordant notes do not penetrate it

if sadness comes it is dripping in a honey like melancholy

say lou lou are the prime movers in their world

they encourage and criticise the people inhabiting their songs

they save people and admonish lovers

they notice small details and then they see the big picture too

they never labour the point

and they never seem to tell the whole story

its a shame the wonderful song they did with chet faker fool of me

isnt on here

and so too their magnificent take on that tame impala song

but it couldnt have everything could it?

as a debut it is a damn fine record


i’m giving it four and one third stars.

on every level

it made me feel very very happy!







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