“We wanted to mix 70s Berlin glamour with 90s heroin-chic” explain Swedish pop duo Say Lou Lou on their new single, Julian. Twins Elektra and Miranda Kilbey barely touch their twenties but are mature beyond their years in their taste and approach, reminiscent of young Bianca Jagger in the throws of disco or the aggressive yet vulnerable allure of grunge PJ Harvey. Their songs have a haunting beauty, a yearning sadness uplifted by their pop melodies and stylised videos.
“For Julian, we centered our references around a German cult film called Christiane F [Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo] set in the late 70s. It's based on the true story of a 14-year-old girl in Berlin who falls heavily into heroin addiction when she starts hanging out with the wrong people at a nightclub. She dyes her hair red and wears short metallic bomber jackets, slim jeans with colored socks and platforms.”
"Say Lou Lou's songs have a haunting beauty, a yearning sadness uplifted by their pop melodies and stylised videos"
The video echoes some of their favourite movies including The Runaways and Boogie Nights, as well as Davide Sorrenti’s cult photography. Here AnOther speaks to the girls about their influences and memories from two influential decades.
Who are your style icons of the 1970s?
So many, but narrowing it down to two ends of the spectrum they are David Bowie and Cherie Currie vs. Charlotte Rampling and Lauren Hutton. And Kate Bush.
What appeals to you about the 70s?
The contradiction of total glamour and decadence.
"What appeals to you about the 70s? — The contradiction of total glamour and decadence"
What memories do you have of your childhood in the 90s?
Jeff Buckley playing from a big portable CD player in the kitchen, Mum in a black slip and wedges and kissing a poster of the middle brother from Hanson with red lipstick every night before bed.
Do you have a memorable outfit or piece of clothing from the 90s?
We had little multi-coloured sequin handbags that our father bought for us in London. They were our most treasured belongings. And kiddies' trainers which had lights in the sole so when you stomped with your foot they would flash.
What's your favourite 70s film?
A Swedish cult classic called A Lovestory from 1970 (En Kärlekshistoria) and several Tarkovsky films. But we tend to like films set in the 70s rather than films actually made in the 70s, like Christiane F, Boogie Nights, Blow and The Runaways.
What's your favourite 90s film?
Not in order: Stealing Beauty, Magnolia, Pulp Fiction, Lost Highway, Leon, Reservoir Dogs, Fucking Åmål.
What are your favourite songs / artists of the 1970s?
To name a few: Kate Bush, T-Rex, Dolly Parton, Fleetwood Mac, Roxy Music, Prince (late 70s early 80s) and David Bowie. A few of our favourite songs would probably be Heroes by David Bowie, Dreams by Fleetwood Mac and Song To The Siren by Tim Buckley.
And of the 90s?
To name a few: Jeff Buckley, Mazzy Star, Cocteau Twins, Air, PJ Harvey, The Cardigans. Songs from the 90s have to include Erase and Rewind by The Cardigans, Pure Shores by All Saints, Power of Goodbye by Madonna, Into My Arms by Nick Cave, Last Goodbye by Jeff Buckley and I Will Come To You by Hanson.
Where is your favourite place to shop for vintage clothing?
Markets and charity thrift shops – places where you find the most unexpected and undervalued things. It's more of a thrill but perhaps more effort. We love places like Rellik in London, Judits in Stockholm and Eva's in Tokyo that sell vintage designers but it's not as affordable.
Text by Mhairi Graham