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SXSW: Sibling folk duo Lily & Madeleine are a teenage dream

Danielle Lopez, special to the American-Statesman
Sibling folk duo Lily & Madeleine perform Friday, March 15, 2019, at the Mohawk during South by Southwest. [Contributed by Danielle Lopez]

If you were in the crowd at Mohawk early Friday evening for South by Southwest, you might have felt for a moment that all your teenage diaries were on display — that is if your younger self had the eloquence of sister folk duo Lily & Madeleine.

The indie songstresses from Indiana had every fest-goer hanging on to their harmonies as they opened with the edgy “Self Care” from their latest album, “Canterbury Girls.” Released this year, the title of their fourth LP is in reference to their hometown and Canterbury Park.

The sisters — Lily, 22, and Madeline, 23, Jurkiewicz — haven’t performed at SXSW since the former was 19. “It’s great to be back at 22,” Lily said. “We’re getting way fewer lectures.”

As they sing about heartbreak and growing up, their voices pair together in the way that only blood relation can produce. They have a likeness to other sister duos such as First Aid Kit, but are less desert chic and more pop.

While their dreamy ballads may have been a better fit for a close-quarters venue, songs like their radio hit “Come to Me” and the groovy “Supernatural Sadness” got the crowd moving.

The duo got their start as high-schoolers, making videos and posting on YouTube. Their promise is apparent, with artists on their side like Sufjan Stevens, whose label Asthmatic Kitty Records picked up their 2013 release “The Weight of the Globe.”

Their strength lies in the songs that get listeners dancing. The sisters’ sound makes for the ideal tracks to play on hazy days in the sun. Though they’re young and still searching for the right stage presence, these up-and-comers are not to be dismissed.