Looking like they've stepped off the set of a Chloé commerical, Say Lou Lou's Miranda and Elektra Kilbey are a pair of incredibly talented, incredibly cool Australian-Swedish twins. Daughters of Steve Kilbey from The Church, the Kilbey sisters grew up in both Australia and Sweden and are the epitome of effortless chic. This April, they release their debut album Lucid Dreaming, so we sat down with the girls to talk music, twin stories and culture differences.
You guys are Swedish-Australian - which culture do you identify with most?
Miranda: That's a really tough question. Part of us identifies more with Australia [in terms of] our sense of humour, lifestyle and the way we want to live. But then we're very political and that's quite Swedish - being passionate about politics and justice.
Do you think the two cultures influence your music at all?
Miranda: I think subconsciously it definitely does. In terms of the melancholic pop side to our music - that's quite Swedish. At the same time, the live aspect of our music is quite Australian. We really like to have a full live band and lots of guitars.
Would you say being a twin works in your favour when making music?
Elektra: Yes, definitely. The songwriting and creative process is so much quicker and we always understand each other's frame of reference. Touring-wise, it can be a bit tedious because we're sisters and we're living together and touring together, and we fight a lot. We may bicker and fight but we are also really close.
What are your music inspirations and favourite musicians?
Elektra: There are so many. I don't know if we sound like our inspirations in any way, but I would say our Kate Bush, David Bowie, Jeff Buckley, Cocteau Twins and The Cardigans.
You guys have a very '70s look that we absolutely love - who or what influences your amazing style?
Elektra: We love men's fashion, especially during the '70s. David Bowie, The Rolling Stones - they were amazing. We love the pants, the tucked-in shirts and the silhouettes - they were so flattering and so empowering. I love how everything looked a little cheap and expensive at the same time. And I loved the overload of make-up!
Do you get a lot of Abba references with your blonde and brunette hair?
Elektra: Yeah a lot of people say that@ [laughs] With one of us being blonde and the other brunette, we sing pop music and we're from Sweden, so I guess that's the reference.
How would you best describe the sound of Say Lou Lou?
Elektra: We normally say dreamy, ethereal pop, or disco-noir.
Your name changed from Saint Lou Lou to Say Lou Lou - why was this?
Elektra: It was basically because of copyright. A country artist in Germany had a similar name. She was signed to a really big German label and they were really adamant. We left it for a while and then they came back a few months later with a lawsuit. So we were like, what's more important, our music or our name? It was early days, so the only thing was it [delayed] the album coming out and it also cost us a lot of money.
From the very beginning you've had complete creative control of Say Lou Lou, why is this particularly important to you as artists?
Elektra: We felt from the beginning that if the music and the visual appearance of the band isn't what we are, its not going to be right and its not going to touch people. We want our visual appearance to look like what our music sounds like, if you know what I mean?
What's up next for you guys?
Elektra: We're on a Scandinavian tour right now and then we embark on our first American tour. We're also going to start writing our next album. And hopefully play in Australia, which is our home. Obviously we're Australian, but based in Sweden and logistically it's a nightmare, but we want to make it happen. Its something that's really important to us.