I’ve been a fan of Australian/Swedish act Say Lou Lou since first hearing the vulnerably dream-laced single, “Beloved” back in 2015. I always believed it to be a pained portrait of love gone awry, until learning at their Moroccan Lounge show last week that it’s essentially a “fuck-you” – their words – to their record company of the time.
Wow, I think I love these girls. Say Lou Lou are twin sisters Miranda Anna and Elektra June Kilbey-Jansson, and they make this easy kind of pop music that’s seemingly innocuous and straightforward, totally listenable, yet slightly subversive , as the aforementioned anecdote reveals.
But full disclosure, having enjoyed their music, I wasn’t entirely familiar with their background. Sometimes I just don’t read all the info, instead just going where the melody takes me. So there was this moment at last week’s show that totally caught me by surprise. They performed a cover version of veteran psychedelic rock act The Church’s big hit single “Under the Milky Way.” And they preceded it by talking about their parents, who wrote it before they were born, and how it was a huge influence on them.
Well, wait a minute. That would mean they’re the daughters of said band’s frontman Steve Kilbey. And of course, they are. And yes, I actually had no idea. And to make matters more baffling, Miranda and Elektra provided vocals for the encore of The Church’s ’80s classic “Unguarded Moment” at last year’s Fonda show. And yes, I didn’t make the connection back then either. I guess I can all still be surprised by what’s right in front of me.
So Say Lou Lou … these girls sound wonderful live. And they’ve got a full band to support them. I wasn’t familiar with their new material, their first in three years, from the recently released “Immortelle.” Experiencing those fresh compositions live for the first time was somewhat revelatory.
It isn’t that they’ve changed their sound. It’s more they’ve evolved their pop sensibilities past the obvious, instead bathing their sound in sultry noir and velvety cabaret rather than catchy synths and easy hooks. Even their lounge-y rendition of “Under the Milky Way” sounds nothing like the original, almost making you question if it’s a cover.
Featured below is a selection of tracks from Say Lou Lou’s performance at the Moroccan Lounge on 11.28.18. There’s three classics, including “Beloved,” and three new ones, including “Under the Milky Way.” Enjoy!
Say Lou Lou perform “Beloved” @ the Moroccan Lounge on 11.28.18.
Say Lou Lou perform “Under the Milky Way” @ the Moroccan Lounge on 11.28.18.
Say Lou Lou perform “Julian” @ the Moroccan Lounge on 11.28.18.
Say Lou Lou perform “Limbo” @ the Moroccan Lounge on 11.28.18.
Say Lou Lou perform “Maybe You” @ the Moroccan Lounge on 11.28.18.
Say Lou Lou perform “Golden Child” @ the Moroccan Lounge on 11.28.18.
And just for context, here’s some soft focus footage of Miranda and Elektra handling vocals for The Church’s “Unguarded Moment” at the Fonda last year on 09.15.17. In all fairness, they do look a little different from today. You could blame it on the blurriness. But I recall seeing them back then in the audience before heading up on stage. They were practically standing right next to me, and they did look different then.
The Church perform “Unguarded Moment” with Say Lou Lou’s Miranda & Elektra @ the Fonda on 09.15.17.
Lastly, in case you need a refresher on “Under the Milky Way,” here’s The Church performing their most popular single at that same Fonda show. I figured this is more interesting than a Spotify embed.
The Church perform “Under the Milky Way” @ the Fonda on 09.15.17.
Say Lou Lou: