Interview Say Lou Lou: ‘We Fight, But We Resolve It Really Quickly’

Named after an ‘old English lady’, the charms of Say Lou Lou are positively international, 100% of-the-moment.

At long last, Swedish-Australian twin sisters Say Lou Lou are making gains on the mainstream.

Currently based out of a Stockholm cellar, the enviously stylish pair – also known as Miranda and Elektra Kilbey – are burrowed away, ‘trying lots of different suits on’ in rather hectic recording sessions. But their long-awaited debut album is finally in sight. One half of the duo, Miranda, has taken time out of a 10-hour studio stint to let off steam with DIY.

Whilst early singles ‘Maybe You’ and ‘Julian’ were master-classes in laid-back dream-pop, the album promises to be more ‘dimensional’ with added ‘twists and turns.’ Melding a penchant for glittery 70s style with David Bowie-type enigma, the band’s arresting sound has always hinged on the two sisters’ heart-meltingly serene melodies telling anecdotes of forlornness and fleeting romance over bubbling Jean Michel Jarre synths.

The sprawling epics of Charlotte Gainsbourg’s latest record and Arcade Fire’s back catalogue have inspired the most recent stages of their journey, but it turns out this record has been in the works their entire lives. ‘We’ve always been making music,’ Miranda explains. ‘But Elektra and I never thought we’d end up recording it professionally – it would be a hobby. Obviously, now it’s happened, it’s like, we can’t believe it’s true.’ Growing up in a family of music-lovers, and flipping surroundings between down-under and Mother Svea, their upbringing was restlessly musical and multicultural.

Remarkably, things only ‘It would be good to get some closure on this.’ properly started looking up when they met hotshot producers Addeboy Vs Cliff through a mutual friend around two years ago. ‘Clicking on the musical level,’ the two guys co-wrote ‘Maybe You’ with the Kilbeys and since then, being in a band has become a ‘full force’, full-time job. As Miranda continues: ‘They’re two guys from Northern Sweden who are quite quiet and mellow, and also quite serious. I think the combination of them with us, who are really talkative and energetic, was great. I think the concentration was good for the music. They’ve been there since the beginning and have really helped us to develop our sound.’

Backed by this binary support, it seems their own twin-ness has been beneficial too. In fact, they appear in sync and almost telepathically connected: meet both sisters at once and you’ll witness giggling galore, sentences being completed by the other, and lots of looking into eyes.

But what is it actually like spending so much time with someone you know inside out? ‘Erm… Between us…. I’m kidding,’ laughs Miranda. ‘It’s really fun and exciting. It would be hard to spend that time with someone else because it’s so intense.’ Surely conflicts arise? ‘We fight, but then resolve it really quickly,’ she confirms. ‘I guess it would have been hard with someone else who you weren’t related to. You couldn’t fight in the same way. It’s a blessing.’

In an irritating turn of events, the duo were obliged to change their name from Saint Lou Lou to Say Lou Lou last year due to a lawsuit from a similarly-named artist. But hang on a second – who even is Lou Lou? ‘Our Great Aunt, who we only met once on her death-bed, and an old family legend,’ they explain. ‘She was actually an old English lady. She was quite bitter and angry, and she didn’t like anyone. She was really mean to our grandmother, so we always thought that the really beautiful, sweet name together with her personality was quite funny.’

In other words, their name is a metaphor for their songs: sweet and warming on the surface, dark and introspective beneath. Most recent single ‘Better In The Dark’ is a typical case: a luscious, velvety telling of a story which Miranda says is ‘basically about how things that feel better in the dark don’t really last beyond that, in the long term.’ Written at the same time as ‘Julian’ and peaking with one of the biggest, most anthemic Scandipop choruses you’ve probably ever heard, they relate how ‘romance you have in the night time doesn’t usually stand the test of daylight.’

In songs like these, Miranda says it’s their aim to ‘paint a picture of a story, what’s happening, what’s going on with these characters. Is it you? Is it me?’ And so on. The result is a rich, complex bed of love-stories.

The sisters have previously self-released music through their own record label, appropriately titled À Deux, but the hype got too much – they’ve recently signed a deal with Columbia. ‘We’re really excited and eager to get this record out,’ Miranda says. ‘We’ve been making it for too long now. It would be good to get some closure on this, to get it out and see what the response is and what sort of impact it has on people.’ Most of all, it seems, Saint Lou Lou want get out there and see the world. ‘We can’t wait to tour properly. That really makes everything feel worth it. You see the faces of people who listen to your music and it’s all so happy. We are super, super excited.’

Say Lou Lou’s new single is released on 25th November via Columbia / à Deux records - pre-order.

Taken from the new, free Futurepop issue of DIY Weekly, available to read online or to download on iPad now.

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