We spoke with Leslie last summer when her album Foolish Things came out. We were delighted to get a chance to talk with Emily about Side by Side. It is a girly girl power album that shines a light on being female with the joys and complications that come with the position. There is an intimacy in the album created through the magic of their voices together and the fact that they each accompany the songs with a ukulele. It has, as Emily suggested, the feel of a slumber party. The songs cover themes that are serious and secret and silly.
Emily and Leslie worked together on all of the original songs for the album and they draw inspiration from a wide range of places. The album opens with Rich Pie, where they have put to music a poem that (according to the Internet) was written by a third grader. There’s a line that gets to the ethos of the album, “I do not mind being considered beautiful but will not let that be my definition.” There are a couple of songs (Lylas and 13 Going on 30) that they wrote for a Fringe Festival show about middle school. I was greatly comforted to hear that my concerns of middle school were universal. There’s even a song (Lily of the Valley) that was originally written as a commission!
There’s a sisterhood in the album that is uplifting. I suspect their online show may be a fun event to attend with your childhood friend, sister or your book club.