An interview with Say Lou Lou
Lucid dreaming is a phenomenon where dreamers are aware of the fact that they are dreaming while it’s happening. I first heard of this phenomenon when I met Swedish-australian identical twin sisters Miranda and Elektra Kilbey, who are also known as the dream-pop duo Say Lou Lou.
Miranda and Elektra had the same recurring nightmare during their childhood. “The nightmare was abstract and contained dark forces, and we used to wake up and see forms floating around our room,” the twins explain. To help them overcome the terror of their nightmares, their mother introduced them to lucid dreaming. She taught them exercises to help them redirect where their dreams were going, as a method to avoid the recurring terror. It became their weapon.
Fast forward to 2015. The twins are making music as Say Lou Lou. It’s been two years since they released their first song on the Internet, and they have just released their first full-length album.
“Our debut album Lucid Dreaming could be described as a summary of everything we’ve been through up until now,” Miranda tells me over a cup of tea at a restaurant in Sofo, the Stockholm neighborhood that takes its inspiration from the similarly named areas of New York and London. It’s early morning and early Spring. The twins are sipping their cups of tea, and outside the ground is soaking wet from melting snow.
“All the love stories from our teens and bitter memories became songs,” Elektra fills in.
However, working in the music industry was never the plan for Miranda and Elektra Kilbey, even though both of their parents are former members of 80s bands The Church and Pinkchampagne, and the sisters grew up in a home filled with music. As defiant teenagers they wanted to prove that they could go their own way, and it was not going to include music.
But after moving to Australia to study and then dropping out of school shortly thereafter, the sisters moved back to Stockholm and music found its way into in their lives anyway. Miranda and Elektra realised that they felt an emptiness from never having been musically creative, and Say Lou Lou was born.
”We would probably have grieved for the rest of our lives if we hadn't given music a chance,” says Miranda.
In addition to writing and performing their material, Say Lou Lou has also started their own record label, à Deux. Miranda and Elektra Kilbey see their company as a means to gain freedom in their work. “We can take projects in any direction that we see fit, and we can develop our music our own way,” they say. “Of course, this also means that the projects are much smaller in scale, on the indie scene, but we are okay with that,” explains Elektra. For the moment, Say Lou Lou is the only act on their label but they hope to eventually expand.
The talented twins are experiencing their moment in the sun right now, and music isn’t the only thing keeping them busy. They are easy on the eye, and their beauty and style has attracted the attention of the global fashion posse. You can find Miranda and Elektra in a colourful short film for Gucci’s pre-fall AW14 collection, fronting the cover of V Magazine shot by legendary duo Inez & Vinoodh, numerous fashion shoots for Vogue and design collaborations with international retail giants Topshop, H&M and Zara.
If it sounds like the twins have had an amazing couple of years, they have. But under the surface of it all, Say Lou Lou still see themselves as the teenagers that once upon a time were working at a hamburger joint in Australia and trying to figure it all out.
“We’ve seen a lot during these past three years, and we’ve been on so many different adventures, meeting all kinds of crazy people. We haven’t done everything, but we’ve had the opportunity to experience at least a few things that most people never will experience in their lifetimes,” they say.
The sisters tell me that the path that they have taken to get to this moment hasn’t been easy for them. But they also say that they wouldn’t have it any other way, and that they are happy that they have each other to get them through.
“Since we are identical twins, we often think the same thoughts, and we are so synchronised with each other that it would probably be difficult to work with someone else. But then there are those days when I just want to kill Elektra,“says Miranda.