Photography by Andreas Öhlund assisted by Max Rovenko Styling by Nike Fröhling-Felldin at Hall+Lundgren assisted by Niko Järvikari Hair by Tony Lundström at Mikas Makeup by Josefin Scherdin at Mikas
Siblings often have a deep understanding of the other that can be laced with the thickest threads of friendship. They are the best at pushing the worst buttons and always know the answers to the questions that may remain mysterious to the common friend. As a case in point, let’s take the Swedish/Australian Kilbey sisters, of ethereal pop outfit Say Lou Lou, and questions like: What kind of Disney princess would your sister be and why?
Elektra: “Miranda isn’t a Disney princess. She’s one of the little mice that help Cinderella get ready for the ball. She’s so tiny and quirky and is too cool, caring, and free to be a princess. If she had to be one… Mulan?”
Miranda: “Elektra is Rapunzel. Her long hair has always been her thing. She has never cut it off; she says her female identity is in her locks.”
Their answers demonstrate a unique and hilarious understanding of each other as well as highlighting their distinct differences. This same-same-but-different quality has ignited the embers of intrigue surrounding the band: two dynamic, talented, alluring women who happen to be twins. “As children, we had the same recurring nightmares, and could dream about the same things. We still do,” they told The Lab. “We talk as if we were one being, both starting and ending each other’s sentences. We finish other people’s sentences as well, without even knowing it. Apparently it’s really annoying.” Nope – just another sprinkle of magic on top of this already sparkling duo.
Since erupting into the music world, Say Lou Lou, who split their time between Stockholm and London, has achieved what some musicians take years to: a record label, a hit single, and a viral music video with accompanying buzz. Having grown up witnessing their father’s own success in the music industry – “we thought our parents were kind of embarrassing because they played music” – they were provided with direction and a clear understanding of what it takes to float in a pool where so many sink. Despite childhood dreams of pursuing “real” jobs, “It took us 19 years to realize that we couldn’t see ourselves not having the life that our parents had,” they said, “making music and traveling, with a constant influx of new ideas and inspiration.”
While the twins have a certain telepathy that they’ve shared since childhood, their innate ability to know what the other is thinking does not work as the driving force in their song-writing process. This sister-act abandons formula and collectiveness while writing and rather considers each song to be its own experience. “Every time we write music, it’s a different and new process, depending on what mood we’re in, who’s being dominant, and if we’re writing with a third party. Sometimes one of us might be the driving force behind the idea of a new song and the other just the ‘supporter’ and vice versa.”
Their hit single Maybe You tells a tale of love and forgiveness, revealing a woven story strung together by haunting harmonies and poetic lyrics that could be applied to lovers, sisters, or friends. “We wanted the video to be an extension of the song, something that enhanced the mood of what was present in the track already,” they said of the watery, whimsical, black and white film, conceived with the help of their director friend Philippe Tempelman over wine and movie clips in Miranda’s kitchen. “We wanted to visualize the feeling of melancholy versus hope… We love film, and literature. We think of music in narratives, and think the two are so extremely intertwined.”
So far, the story of Say Lou Lou has been one we can’t put down. And what of the next chapter? “Right now we’re dying for people to hear more of our material. We’ve been working nonstop since last year on our debut album and simultaneously learning how to be a live act… We’ve been thrown in at the deep end when it comes to playing live so we are aiming to float!” If their swimming skills are anything like their musical talent, the sandy shore is already in sight.