They say when you want something done right, you should do it yourself. Say Lou Lou stands testament to this—and only this—cliché.
Back in 2012, the twin sisters posted their first song, “Maybe You,” on SoundCloud. Music blog Pop Justice picked it up and it quickly garnered the attention of French clothing brand/record label Kitsuné, who released a five-song EP centered around the song and various mixes. Having captured the Internet’s attention, Say Lou Lou started touring and working on their first LP under Columbia Records. Then, after constant scheduling issues, the singers decided to start their own, À Deux, and self-release their debut LP, Lucid Dreaming. Forgoing the backing of a major label might not seem like the safest decision in the fickle music industry, but it’s certainly worked out for Say Lou Lou.
Looking back, it seems like the self-proclaimed “dream pop, disco noir” duo came about via divine intervention. Although the two grew up in a musical household—their parents are Steve Kilbey, frontman of the ’80s band Church, and Karin Jansson, guitarist of punk band Pink Champagne—they hadn’t sought out to create their own version of the Partridge Family. “I think deep down, it was always music. I think everything else was like a Plan B,” says Miranda. “But I guess we didn’t dare hope that we were actually going to do it for a living ’cause it always felt so unlikely, and so like being a musician felt like so far away somehow.”
Raised between Stockholm and Sydney, the two shunned others in high school, turning to each other instead. “I just couldn’t wait to get out of there,” says Elektra. “I felt like a waiting room for life to begin. Like watching time go by so slowly and wanting to be an adult.” Adds Miranda, “For everyone else it was like the glory days. You know getting drunk for the first time. And I was like… I just didn’t feel like being a part of it. We were just kind of lame, but in retrospect we were on high horses.”
As with most sibling relationships, the pair has grown closer in time. Some of that can be attributed to living and traveling together, but ultimately it has been fostering and creating their own brand of ’70s-tinged electro rock. ” I think we’ve gotten to know each other in a way that we would never…” starts Elektra. “Professionally,” finishes Miranda. “I’ve gotten to see how you handle criticism and I’ve gotten to see how you handle success... We’ve definitely grown so much, and we’ve definitely grown to love each other more.” Looking at her sister, she says, “It just gets so tedious like at the end of summer holiday you literally wanted to strangle each other. It’s kind of like at the same time, I need you more now. I feel like you’ve gotten so close in my life that I get way like really weird when you’re not around.”
Having just wrapped up their first U.S. tour, which included two sold-out New York shows, the duo is working on honing a new sound for their next record. “It’s been a rollercoaster getting to know ourselves, getting to know exactly what the project is, and defining ourselves not only the actual music, but defining how we work and how we put the music out,” they finish. “I feel like I want to develop what we have created on this record and really challenge ourselves and challenge our voices.”