Say Lou Lou's Sophomore Album is A Sign of the Times

Say Lou Lou's Sophomore Album is A Sign of the Times

The talented twins reveal a dramatically evolved sound.

The talented twins reveal a dramatically evolved sound.

Photography: Heather Hazzan

Styling: Yuiko Ikebata

Text: Jake Viswanath

This interview appears in the pages on V115, our Fall 2018 issue. Head to shop.vmagazine.com to order your copy today!

When Say Lou Lou emerged in 2015,the world was a different place. Donald Trump wasn’t the U.S. president, and with lyrics like, “Everything we touch turns to gold,” the Swedish-Australianduo’s dreamy, escapist sound reflected a simpler time. In the interim, twins Miranda and Elektra Kilbey-Jansson left their former label and relocated from Sweden to L.A. for a fresh start. It was late 2016, and the surrounding societal turmoil inspired them to create their own sonic world. Hollywood sparked a creative surge culminating in their second album, Immortelle, a stark departure from the pristine pop on their debut LP, Lucid Dreaming.

The girls holed up in the hills of L.A.with producers Trent Mazur and Dashiell Le Francis and did everything together— write, record, eat, drink—effectively creating their own creative bubble, devoid of criticism. The result is a cinematic adventure, with tracks inspired by rich scores of old Bond films and lush trip-hop, melded with spookier sounds. “We studied how and why people were doing what they were doing: What is hip-hop, essentially? Where did they get samples from, and how did the composers make the scores? How did they record?” Miranda explains. “We really wanted to counter all of the big pop elements of our previous record.” It’s certainly not a mainstream sound—rather, Immortelle strongly hearkens to the past.

Free from studio interference, the world outside was less influential. “I welcome opinions and I love having critical talks about what we’re doing, but I think it can be really unhelpful when you’re in the process,” Elektra says. “Inviting people in at the end to make things better is really good, but it was important for us to be in it, and to see ideas through.”Ironically, the bubble effect motivated the sisters to comment on being women in the age of Trump. “The album ultimately is about the roles we play either consciously or subconsciously, and a woman’s expected life and dimensions,” Miranda says. “Women in general, any type of woman, her rights are under complete threat from society, and we had to write [about that].”

Much like pioneering female musician predecessors, Say Lou Lou’s message lies within the art, masked by a feeling of luxury and mystery that makes Immortelle distinctive in today’s landscape. “The only thing we can do is just empower ourselves,” says Miranda, “and make ourselves feel that we are in control of our own destiny and exercise all the rights that we have to be who we are. I think that’s what the album is really about.”

Credits: MAKEUP ANGELA DAVIS DEACON (DEFACTO INC.) USING PAULA'S CHOICE, HAIR CLAY NIELSEN, PHOTO ASSISTANT NICK SAVIOLI

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