Although the title hints at feelings of doubt or anxiety, the third album in four years from Indianapolis’ Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz shows no sign of artistic wavering. Instead, it signals their growing maturity both as a songwriters and performers, even though one of the sisters is still not yet out of her teens.
Joined by touring band members Shannon Hayden (cello, mandolin, guitar, Moog) and Kate Siefker (drums, percussion, guitar, bass), Keep It Together expands upon their previous warm Americana for something more modern and textural. From the slow dripping beats of ‘Westfield’ via the moody synth pads of ‘Chicago’ to ‘Hotel Pool’, with its impatient snare and feedback-like undercurrent – the dreamy L&M core sound is never diluted but instead is injected with – ironically – a younger air.
Not that there aren’t nods to previous albums – the nagging Tom Petty riff that underpins ‘For The Weak’, the Pixies country of ‘Small Talk’ – yet the broader palette will hopefully grow their audience reach. ‘Hourglass” cocktail lounge piano and clever arrangement is a thrill. When the strings swell two-thirds of the way through you’ll laugh at the confidence, raise your glass in their direction and maybe even send the waiter over with a note. If Lana Del Rey wants a bit of old time Hollywood glamour she should be on the first plane out of LA.
Away from the recording studio, the sisters have enrolled in some college classes and talked about managing their career at such a young age. On ‘Midwest Kid’, they’re “Happy, bored and sad at the same time,” (i.e. every teenager ever) but if they have doubts about the choices they’ve made so far, Keep It Together proves they’re doing just fine.
An unequivocal delight.