On Treacherous Terrain with Lily & Madeleine and Gemma Ray

Underrated veterans deliver the goods again

Album Review

They’re not outrageous. They don’t strike out in bold new directions. But Lily & Madeleine and Gemma Ray consistently turn out strong albums, quietly compiling impressive bodies of work. Overlook them at your peril.

Lily & Madeleine
Canterbury Girls
New West

Sisters Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz specialize in lustrous, piano-based pop highlighted by the kind of magical vocal harmonies that siblings can seem to achieve so naturally. Their most affecting album yet, Canterbury Girls is a bracing mixture of opposites, blending beautiful sounds and harsh sentiments with deadly skill. “Self Care” observes, “Your beautiful eyes are sad and scared/But I can’t make myself care”; “Bruises” amplifies the sense of numbing alienation, confessing, “You said I was enough and I felt nothing.” It’s not all gorgeous disconnect: “Supernatural Sadness” adds a bracing dash of ‘70s dance grooves, and “Analog Love” celebrates midnight romance. Ultimately, though, this haunting work feels like an unsettling visit to treacherous territory.

Gemma Ray
Psychogeology
Bronzerat

Britain’s Gemma Ray has been practicing her evocative brand of dreamy pop for more than a decade. With ominous melodies that wouldn’t be out of place in a James Bond or Hitchcock film, Psychogeology mixes her cool, poised voice with tales of emotional extremes, to striking effect. “It’s Only Loneliness” offers reassurance amidst desolation, while “Blossom Crawls” finds her declaring, “I’m ready to jump/I’m ready to be happy.” Handled with less finesse, “In Colour” could become a splashy hit megaballad. This enticing album makes great late-night background listening, but rewards close attention, too.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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