Tag: Say Lou Lou

TAYLOR SWIFT New Romantics

A conceptual opus based around George Orwell’s ‘1984’ but looking at the spectre of ‘Big Brother’ five years on, TAYLOR SWIFT’s ‘1989’ sold over a million physical copies during its first week in the US.

This was a release which was confined to CD and digital download variants with no concessions towards streaming and, initially in the first few months of release, vinyl. Moving away from her Nashville roots, tracks like ‘Blank Space’ and ‘Out Of The Woods’ flirted with synthpop in the manner of CHVRCHES. Meanwhile ‘Style’ and ‘Clean’ took the electro mode even further, with the latter being a collaboration with modern day technology queen IMOGEN HEAP.

One track that did not fit in with the ‘1989’ concept and therefore restricted to deluxe bonus track status was ‘New Romantics’. But the now New York based pop princess’ celebration of the most colourful of youth movements in the 20th Century has been released as a single in its own right.

Miss Swift’s opening gambit of “We’re all bored, we’re all so tired of everything” quite vividly references The Winter of Discontent, increasing unemployment and the onset of Thatcher’s Britain, although PET SHOP BOYS’ Neil Tennant recently referred to Swift as the “Margaret Thatcher of pop music”. With the social economic purge by the current Cameron government, these lyrics also resonate in the current climate.

But on the packed dancefloor of The Blitz Club, people were forgetting their troubles and “too busy dancing to get knocked off our feet”, while with eyeliner in abundance (and that was just the boys!), Miss Swift recalls the “tears of mascara in the bathroom”. With “trains that just aren’t coming”, the lack of all-night public transport for club goers in London back then was only too apparent. And it is a problem that sadly still afflicts the capital today.

Closing with the profound line “The best people in life are free”, it is a reflection of the creative spirits that emerged from within the outrageously attired clientele like VISAGE, SPANDAU BALLET, CULTURE CLUB and LANDSCAPE. And of course “every night with us is like a dream”.

Coupled to a classically rigid Linn Drum derived beat, if Miss Swift’s inherent Americanisms were not so apparent, this enticing electropop number could easily be mistaken for the dreamy allure of Scandipodean twins SAY LOU LOU, thanks to the input of Swedish producers Max Martin and Shellback. It was LANDSCAPE’s Richard James Burgess who first coined the term “New Romantic”.

And with this historic narrative on The Blitz Club, ’New Romantics’ has become the original resident DJ Rusty Egan’s favourite TAYLOR SWIFT song.

‘New Romantics’ is available on deluxe edition of ‘1989’ via Big Machine Records

TAYLOR SWIFT plays the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas on Saturday 22nd October 2016





Text by Chi Ming Lai
16th April 2016

SAY LOU LOU Lucid Dreaming

After first getting international acclaim in 2012 for their second single ‘Julian’, highly photogenic Scandipodean twins SAY LOU LOU have finally released their debut album ‘Lucid Dreaming’.

Elektra and Miranda Kilbey were shortlisted in the BBC Sound of 2014, but the album has undergone all sorts of delays.

The question is after all that time and with contributions from noted pop scribes Richard X, Hannah Robinson and Liam Howe, have SAY LOU LOU been able to deliver on their brand of shimmering  escapism?

‘Lucid Dreaming’ is largely a brooding midtempo affair. That may not appeal to all, but with modern pop being either full-on EDM blow-outs or tedious wailing piano ballads these days, this approach could be seen as refreshing. SAY LOU LOU have been labelled a female HURTS having supported them during their 2013 European tour. But like HURTS, their music could do with a kick occasionally but with numbers such as the opener ‘Everything We Touch’, they are driven by a togetherness that can only come from two siblings.

The wonderful ‘Glitter’ ups the ante a little with a great synth melody and disco rhythms not unlike THE GOLDEN FILTER. But ‘Games For Girls’, the twin’s collaboration with dance producer LINDSTRØM sticks out like a sore thumb, as fun as it is, with Elektra and Miranda hitting some very high notes. The rousing single not included on the album ‘Better In The Dark’ may have been a more suitable alternative.

‘Julian’ though is possibly still the most outstanding song in their armoury at present. Untouched from the original 2012 version, SAY LOU LOU’s darkness and light duality showcases itself here. “I’ll get us through the checkpoint; I know we’ll be alright!” It is full of tension and intrigue like a Nordic Noir mini-series, compressed into a three minute pop song.

‘Angels (Above Me)’ takes the tempo down while the string laden ‘Peppermint’ takes things down further. Co-written with Hannah Robinson and Liam Howe, ‘Beloved’ is a striking ballad full of warmth with its pretty Yé-Yé girl styled vocals.

The percussive ‘Hard For A Man’ with its rich vocal intonation adds further colours to the palette but one can’t help wanting the template to alter slightly, even if it is only a slight increase in tempo as on ‘Glitter’. Now much had been made in the long build up to this album about Richard X’s involvement, but alas, his presence is only heard on ‘Wilder Than The Wind’, another ballad. Considering the impressive work he did on ERASURE’s ‘The Violet Flame’, this number is disappointing.

Midtempo or not, ‘Nothing But A Heartbeat’ is up there with ‘Julian’ as an album highlight. Dreamy and dynamic, it’s like those semi-sprightly cinematic numbers that HURTS used to do before they turned into SIMPLE MINDS.

The epic closer ‘Skylights’ is basically how MARSHEAUX would sound if Marianthi and Sophie attempted an AOR ballad with weeping keyboards and strings filling the void instead of guitars. The vocals from the Kilbey sisters are top notch, as they are throughout the collection.

Overall, ‘Lucid Dreaming’ does come over like a LANA DEL REY album, but without the swearing. SAY LOU LOU’s moody Nordic Noir Pop will not be for everyone, but there are enough great songs to make this album worthy of investigation

‘Lucid Dreaming’ is released by A Deux / Columbia Records



Text by Chi Ming Lai
7th April 2014


Flitting between Sydney and Stockholm in their younger years, Scandipodean twins SAY LOU LOU have been impressing since their debut single ‘Maybe You’ came out in 2012 on the prestigious Kitsuné label.

Their brilliant second single ‘Julian’ led to them being signed by Sony while none other than Richard X has been working with them on their debut album.

Icy blonde Elektra and smouldering brunette Miranda have showbiz in their blood; they are the daughters of Steve Kilbey, lead singer of Oz rockers THE CHURCH who had a huge US hit with ‘Under The Milky Way’ back in 1988.

With their steady tempos, art house cinematics and stylish presentation, SAY LOU LOU have been described as a female HURTS and even supported them during their 2013 European tour. A recent sojourn with the trendy LONDON GRAMMAR helped their cause further and resulted in this sold out show at London’s XOYO.

Starting with forthcoming single ‘Everything We Touch’, this came over like a sophisticated Scandipop take on HEART driven by a togetherness that could only have come from two siblings.

The rousing single ‘Better In The Dark’ followed with its companion B-side ‘Beloved’ not long after. Constructed around a mid tempo heartbeat spiced with some dream laden electronics, the two songs are an ideal pairing.

‘Beloved’ was particularly striking with its pretty Yé-Yé girl styled vocals, not entirely surprising having been co-written with Hannah Robinson and Liam Howe. Meanwhile, ‘Peppermint’ took things down further but the set wasn’t entirely mid-paced. There then came ‘Nothing But A Heartbeat’ which sounded like one of those semi-sprightly cinematic numbers HURTS used to do before they turned into SIMPLE MINDS. It was a welcome change in mood for the show.

SAY LOU LOU have a duality concept of one dark twin / one light twin which revealed itself on stage… as did Elektra’s slight wardrobe malfunction, much to Miranda’s amusement. Although Miranda has the dark hair, it was she who was the more animated of the pair, all arms aloft and swaying her hair along with the music while occasionally playing synth. Elektra was much more intense and cooler, holding together the responsibility of primary lead singer.

Despite these roles, collectively the girls were thoroughly enjoying the occasion. Their warmth really exuded when they even took time out to throw stickers into the audience and hand vinyl copies of their second single ‘Julian’ to those in the front row. And it was ‘Julian’ was that was the show’s standout, even prompting a dash of singalong from the eager crowd. Full of tension and intrigue like a Nordic Noir mini-series compressed into a three minute pop song, don’t be surprised if ‘Julian’ reappears again in single format as part of the new album’s promotional campaign.

To close the main section, there was the epic ‘Skylights’, basically how MARSHEAUX would sound if Marianthi and Sophie attempted an AOR ballad.

Thankfully, clichés such as guitar solos were avoided and sweeping keyboards filled the void instead. It rounded things up nicely before an encore with their debut single ‘Maybe You’. About a relationship on the edge of failure, with SAY LOU LOU’s teenage angst all bottled into their music, the twins really should be performing in black and white like an Ingmar Bergman film.

With Swedish pop nous crossed with a sweaty Aussie pub rock aesthetic, SAY LOU LOU are delivering on their brand of shimmering but accessible escapism.

The steady momentum of their music could do with a kick occasionally but the potential is there. With major label support on their side, whether they will become mega like LANA DEL REY or lost like SUNDAY GIRL remains to be seen.

‘Everything We Touch’ is released on 21st April 2014 with the album due sometime in September




Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by Richard Price
2nd March 2014

Introducing SAY LOU LOU

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK loves dream laden electronic sophistication

Recent offerings from HANNAH PEEL and KID MOXIE have been fine examples of that template.

Cut from that same cloth is ‘Julian’, the beautiful new single from SAY LOU LOU, who comprise of the highly photogenic Scandipodean twins Elektra and Miranda Kilbey.

The track features subtle elements of ROBYN, LANA DEL REY, KARIN PARK, MARSHEAUX and THE SOUND OF ARROWS. Meanwhile, the lavish video directed by Philippe Tempelman chronicles what turns out to be a mysterious bizarre love triangle.

It is full of tension and intrigue like a Nordic Noir mini-series compressed into a three minute pop song that fuses both darkness and light as the lyrics suggest:“I’ll get us through the checkpoint, I know we’ll be alright!”

Flitting between Sydney and Stockholm, the Kilbey sisters have been impressing since their more organic first single ‘Maybe You’. None other than Richard X is rumoured to be working with them on songs for their debut album. Perhaps not surprisingly with their steady tempos and art house cinematics, SAY LOU LOU are also being thought of as a female HURTS, having recently supported Messrs Hutchcraft and Anderson on tour in Europe.

The B-side of ‘Julian’ entitled ‘Fool Of Me’ which features Australian singer Chet Faker is a highly tasteful compliment to the main feature.

While it is difficult to fully judge the potential of any new act with such as small catalogue, ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK did get it right with CHVRCHES and VILE ELECTRODES. So here’s to SAY LOU LOU delivering further on their brand of shimmering escapism.

‘Julian’ b/w ‘Fool Of Me’ is available now as a download or 7 inch vinyl




Text by Chi Ming Lai
18th May 2013