Out of all the glorious synth-pop acts to emerge from Scandinavia since the turn of the decade, twin sisters Miranda Anna and Elektra June Kilbey-Jansson, aka Say Lou Lou, possibly have the strongest musical pedigree. Their father, Steve Kilbey, was the frontman of Australian alt-rock giants The Church, (best-known for their 1988 US Top-40 hit “Under the Milky Way”), while their mother, Karin Jansson, was the guitarist in Swedish punk feminists Pink Champagne.
That said, there’s little evidence of their now-separated parents’ past in Say Lou Lou’s own sound, a melting pot of atmospheric dream pop and glittery electronica which sounds like Bat For Lashes covering ABBA, although their unsettled childhood spent travelling between Sweden and Australia has undoubtedly imbued their work with a sense of melancholy.
In fact, the 24-year-olds, who are named in honor of their bitter old great aunt, initially rejected a musical career before the positive response to a cover version they recorded for their mother’s 50th birthday inspired them to follow in her footsteps.
The duo haven’t looked back since, issuing their first track, “Maybe You,” through hip French label Kitsune before founding their own label (a Deux Records), scoring an online hit with Chet Faker collaboration “Fool of Me,” and becoming the toast of the fashion world with appearances in V and Vogue and in commercials for Gucci and H&M.
Produced by the likes of Liam Howe (FKA Twigs), Richard X (Annie) and Jim Eliot (Ellie Goulding), Say Lou Lou’s recently released first LP, Lucid Dreaming, has further cemented their status as one of 2015’s brightest young things. From the galloping synth-pop of “Everything We Touch,” to the bubbling electro of Lindstrøm collaboration “Games for Girls,” to the exquisite balladry of “Peppermint,” it’s a sophisticated and highly melodic record which sustains the same high standard from start to finish and is a genuine contender for debut album of the year.
Reluctant pop stars they may have once been, but Say Lou Lou now appear on the verge of becoming the biggest success story in the talented Kilbey-Jansson family.