REVIEW: LILY & MADELEINE at THE STONE FOX on 11/12/14

I finally had the opportunity to go to a show at The Stone Fox.  I’d heard good things about the venue; the band I manage had played several shows there, but I’d never been able to go for some reason.  Excited, I packed up my camera and headed on over to West Nashville to enjoy talented folk-pop duo Lily & Madeleine, who are on tour supporting their latest LP Fumes.

L&M with Shannon Hayden

Cellist Shannon Hayden was the opening act and also joined Lily & Madeleine to support their set on cello and mandolin; if you want to have your script flipped about what a cello is supposed to sound like, you need to check out her stuff.  After her hypnotic performance, Lily & Madeleine entranced us with their dreamy brand of vocalization they’ve dubbed “blood harmony;” the sisters’ voices combine seamlessly, whether they are singing in unison or in harmony, in a way only the voices of blood relatives could meld.

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One might assume that this beautiful blend lends itself to sugary lyrics, and one would be sadly mistaken.  In their song “The Wolf Is Free,” an incredible number that unfortunately didn’t make the set list that night, seems to be about a heartless womanizer who preys on the unknowing.  They sing “the innocents flock like sheep/their efforts all in vain, the wolf is back again/I hope he comes for me/I’m not outrunning him, and I’m not gonna scream;” I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a dare delivered with such lovely presentation.  The addition of Shannon Hayden’s mandolin lent movement to the already captivating catalogue of older and new material, including songs like “Rabbit,” the sultry “Paradise,” and ending with the Lily-led “Blue Blades.”  These ladies have definitely made an ardent admirer of me.

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