Who better to give us a lowdown on what to do in Eurovision’s host city Stockholm than pop duo Say Lou Lou?
What has it been like being part of the campaign for The Strand?
Miranda: It has been a really good collaboration and everything is run from a very natural and organic perspective. The Strand is very much part of Australia’s heritage and it’s very special to be a part of that.
We actually had a lunch just before Christmas and we were talking about being twins and the notion of duality and that’s how the concept for The Strand came about. It’s both the idea of black and white versus colour and the duality of being two people.
What’s the best part about being a twin?
Elektra: Being completely in sync and having the same perspective and reference for everything and being able to understand each other all the time.
How do you find working together?
Miranda: Musically, we argue a lot but we argue to get the best possible outcome for what we’re doing. Some people find it quite shocking but once people get to know us they are, like, “whatever”.
Elektra: We’re kind of hard on each other. We take shortcuts instead of beating around the bush. Instead of being nice to each other we just say if something doesn’t sound good and move on. We’re obviously not like that towards other people.
Where are you guys living at the moment?
Elektra: In Stockholm but we’re touring in September and moving to LA at the end of the year.
Where is a place in Stockholm that everyone should visit?
Elektra: First of all, come in summer, which is between July and August and go to the archipelago, which are the scattered islands. Stockholm is built on beautiful, rocky islands, joined by bridges, and can be accessed by ferries. Just go out for the day, have a picnic and lay on the rocks. Or rent out a cottage and stay a couple of nights. That’s where the most famous Swedish movies are shot.
Miranda: Gotland is also a must. It’s an island south of Stockholm and takes about four hours on the ferry. I don’t think it originally belonged to Sweden – everything on the island is completely different from the rest of the country. The nature there is so flat it’s more like Italy. It’s rocky and the trees are really sparse.
How about in the city – do you have a favourite restaurant or bar?
Miranda: My favourite restaurant is a place called Sardin, named because it’s so small like a sardine tin. It’s French/Spanish Tapas, run by one French woman and one German woman. They’re quite stern and run around asking, “What do you do want?” They have new menus every day written on these big boards that they bring around.
Elektra: Two blocks away from there is my boyfriend’s restaurant, Indio Kitchen, which is amazing. It’s Peruvian fusion with Japanese food. So it’s like sushi but with Peruvian spices.
Is there a dish you have to order when you go there?
Elektra: Their ceviche is amazing.
Where are the best places to shop in Stockholm?
Elektra: There’s one suburb called Södermalm, which is where we live. You could say it’s Stockholm’s Paddington – that’s where we grew up in Sydney. If you just walk around there are so many shops, a lot of vintage furniture and vintage clothing but they also have Acne, Whyred and all the other big Swedish brands.
What are your favourite travel spots around the world?
Miranda: There’s an island I went to in the summer in Italy called Procida. You go to Naples and where you take the ferry to go to Capri, you go to Procida instead. It’s a way smaller island and there are no tourists. It has amazing food and you just walk around. The beaches are quite empty and it’s really old-school Italian. The food is also really good and really pure and simple.
Elektra: Copenhagen is right up there, too. It’s got the coolness and roughness of Berlin but still has the Scandinavian elegance. Don’t go in winter, though. I don’t think you can comprehend how tough it can be in the freezing cold.
How did your new album come about?
Miranda: Lucid Dreaming has been in the making for three years. We were experimenting and having a good time in the studio one day and our friend, now manager as well, uploaded one of our songs to SoundCloud. He did it without asking us because he knew we would never upload it ourselves.
Elektra: Then we woke up the morning after and my email inbox was full and we were on the front pages of all these music blogs. I was angry, then I was shocked, then I was happy. A week later, we had our first record deal come to us; we signed it two weeks later. Since then, we haven’t looked back.
How would you best describe your sound?
Miranda: The sound is dreamy and pop. I think the word pop is quite stigmatised – people think pop music is what’s on the charts. Some of the songs are quite disco-ish as well. It’s definitely a pop album.
Elektra: We’ve grown with the album – it’s everything up until now. It’s about a feeling of being a bit wiser and coming to terms with everything that has gone wrong or things that didn’t work out.