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Fiona and Emily: your new favorite band
July 5, 2010 8:14 PM   Subscribe

With their no-frills, earnestly deadpan delivery, excellent pitch and diction, crisp guitar work, impeccable rhythm and sweet harmonies, Fiona and Emily are sure to become your favorite classic rock cover band. Honky Tonk Woman, Pinball Wizard, Ticket To Ride, Surfin' USA, House of the Rising Sun, Help, Johnny B. Goode, and last but certainly not least, I Am the Walrus. Woooooooooo!
posted by flapjax at midnite (55 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite

 
if they were older and lesbians they'd be the Indigo Girls.
posted by milnak at 8:20 PM on July 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


Not at all.

They seriously creep me out. Something about earnestness and young blonde people.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:26 PM on July 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


After peeking at their YT page, I'm a bit surprised to find that they're 15 and 17. They look much younger.

Very talented, though. Nice find.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:35 PM on July 5, 2010


Sending the kids to their room just became a pleasure. They have a future, I hope.

And I think they're called Fiomily. Maybe I would have gone with Emona but I reckon you would have had a battle on your hands there...
posted by bdave at 8:38 PM on July 5, 2010


Deathalicious: “They seriously creep me out. Something about earnestness and young blonde people.”

Funny, that's always been my problem with Joan Baez.
posted by koeselitz at 8:40 PM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Okay, having watched a few of these - yes, they probably could try just a tad hard to avoid looking like this, but overall I am totally down with Fiona and Emily. After a few tries, I get over the suspicion that EMILY IS LOOKING AT ME! and notice – shit, these girls can sing. Awesome! Thanks, flaps.
posted by koeselitz at 8:48 PM on July 5, 2010


Oh, that's just the kind of thing I like. Thanks for finding and posting this.

Maybe they can start a group with Chloe.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:52 PM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm a bit surprised to find that they're 15 and 17. They look much younger.

In some of these clips (from 2007, for example) they are younger, I'd imagine.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:54 PM on July 5, 2010


I know what I hate, and I don't hate this.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:57 PM on July 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


Your favorite classic rock cover band sucks.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:05 PM on July 5, 2010


I watched the I Am the Walrus cover first and I was genuinely unsettled. The way Emily stared firmly into the camera, coupled with the nightmarish lyrics freaked me out a bit. I found myself thinking of that archetypal terrifying child-genius, Rimbaud. The other songs are perfectly fine, and not in the least bit unsettling.

Another thing that bothered me was that they were covering such old songs (though, I'll note, my first years of listening to pop music were dominated by artists from the 50s, 60s and 70s) but I was heartened to see that they've covered Lady Gaga's Just Dance and a song by a band I don't remember ever hearing of before, Elliot Minor, called Parallel Worlds. The kids are alright after all :)

Good find.
posted by Kattullus at 9:06 PM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


From the Youtube page:

We've been living in Germany for five years but are English.

I'm surprised; something about them was just screaming "Utah!!" at me. I do like that they are covering actual good music, as opposed to say Lady Gaga or Beyonce or whatever is out this week. Not because Gaga is bad music (it is), but because most people on Youtube just want to cynically piggyback on someone else's current popularity, rather than playing what they like.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:08 PM on July 5, 2010


Dude, I wish that when I was a teenager, I was as good at anything as that girl is at playing that damn guitar.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:08 PM on July 5, 2010 [11 favorites]


was heartened to see that they've covered Lady Gaga's Just Dance

Ha ha. I stand corrected I guess.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:08 PM on July 5, 2010


Okay, also, seeing them sing about heroin is really, really uncomfortable.
posted by Kattullus at 9:09 PM on July 5, 2010


I loved the I Am the Walrus cover, very much so. My only complaint would be that they didn't try to imitate the numerous audio samples the original made. It remains one of my favorite songs, decades after I first heard, but only now learned this:
In his 1980 Playboy interview, Lennon said: "It never dawned on me that Lewis Carroll was commenting on the capitalist and social system. I never went into that bit about what he really meant, like people are doing with the Beatles' work. Later, I went back and looked at it and realized that the walrus was the bad guy in the story and the carpenter was the good guy. I thought, Oh, s--t, I picked the wrong guy. I should have said, 'I am the carpenter.' But that wouldn't have been the same, would it?"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:12 PM on July 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


That girl can play. It's interesting to see the progression of their talent through the videos, I'd guess that Surfing USA or I am the Walrus is the first.

I wonder what their own music sounds like. There's a thing I've noticed, where people with really great chops tend not to have their own voice, because they find it so easy to emulate others, whereas people who don't have that easy facility have more interesting and unique styles, simply because they aren't able to imitate others, and therefore find their own way.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 9:18 PM on July 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Check out big sis' guitar playing on Johnny B. Goode. She should go electric more often.

Thanks for posting this Flap. I think they're both charming in an innocent, earnest way.
posted by marsha56 at 9:24 PM on July 5, 2010


"I get over the suspicion that EMILY IS LOOKING AT ME! "

I think they are reading their music off of some sort of teleprompter, see the reflections off the guitar in Let it Be, and at the end when the big one reaches to turn it off. Emily who doesn't have to follow the chord changes can read ahead in the lyrics and occasionally look at the camera.

My favorite of the few I looked at was Love Me Do where both are full facial and I found no cringe moments.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 9:25 PM on July 5, 2010


My only complaint would be that they didn't try to imitate the numerous audio samples the original made.

You mean like HO HO HO HEE HEE HEE HA HA HA? Keep in mind that those bits weren't "samples", but were simply studio recordings of a vocal group that George Martin brought in for the track. There was that bit at the fadeout, something they grabbed from the radio, which was a snippet of Shakespeare, and it would've been hilarious if they'd done that... anyway, they did such a good job on the WOOOOOs, it would've been cool if they'd done the entire song, and thrown in as much of the extra vocal bits as possible, as opposed to the abbreviated version.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:25 PM on July 5, 2010


You mean like HO HO HO HEE HEE HEE HA HA HA?

And the "this is all that your grandfather left you" (or whatever that was) and that weird bit earlier on just before "sitting in an English garden". But yes.

Oh man I need to listen to that again. Such a perfect song.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:32 PM on July 5, 2010


And the "this is all that your grandfather left you"

That was the Shakespeare I was referring to. It's King Lear. See here. I always heard it as "Is he dead? Is your grandfather? Bless you!" Now I'm gonna have to read the damn play just to get to the bottom of this...

...and that weird bit earlier on just before "sitting in an English garden"

Yeah, there's some alarm clock + warped vocals there too, indeed.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:41 PM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


They're no Prussian Blue.
posted by bardic at 9:46 PM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think they are reading their music off of some sort of teleprompter

It's a computer monitor, you can see it in Sweet Home Alabama & Can't Buy Me Love.
posted by scalefree at 9:54 PM on July 5, 2010


After peeking at their YT page, I'm a bit surprised to find that they're 15 and 17. They look much younger.

They are much younger. Or they were, rather. Most of the videos were recorded at least a year or two ago, some as much as three! WOW, great find, flapjax, I just spent half an hour enthralled. Seconding (or thirding or fourthing) the "if only I had been that talented when I was that age" sentiment. Best of the web.
posted by Mike Mongo at 10:14 PM on July 5, 2010


Thanks, flaps.

Thlaps.
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:23 PM on July 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Seconding the Thlaps.

These girls rock.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:31 PM on July 5, 2010


"After peeking at their YT page, I'm a bit surprised to find that they're 15 and 17. They look much younger".

The Honky Tonk Woman video was posted in October 2007, That would made them: 14 and 12 years old by then. Great achievement for little girls. The guitar cords on the I'm the walrus are very difficult to achieve and Blackbird took me years to learned it many years ago. Great for a 14 year old girl!
posted by CRESTA at 10:36 PM on July 5, 2010


Camille Paglia approves (sixth-to-last paragraph).
posted by progosk at 11:49 PM on July 5, 2010


I can't remember how, but I stumbled across their Youtube channel about a year ago and became an instant fan. I'm glad to see they've made it to the blue. Thanks flapjax for that.
posted by Sailormom at 11:56 PM on July 5, 2010


> I wonder what their own music sounds like

There's an original on their MySpace page.
posted by ceiriog at 1:00 AM on July 6, 2010


America!!!!
posted by GavinR at 1:32 AM on July 6, 2010


Yeah, something mildly unsettling about the hookers, heroin & LSD involvement but they certainly got some skills.
posted by i_cola at 1:53 AM on July 6, 2010


Holy cats, even before reading the "I Am The Walrus" related comments here, I was listening to their version thinking that I could imagine an entire arrangement for their two voices and guitar that involved the sound effects, more trade off on the lines (especially after the first chorus) and some different harmony points.

These two girls have something. Clearly, between the Beatles and them, there's something to sending young English musicians to Germany for a couple of years.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:57 AM on July 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Clearly, between the Beatles and them, there's something to sending young English musicians to Germany for a couple of years.

haha! That's brilliant! :)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:07 AM on July 6, 2010


I needed that. Thanks!
posted by dry white toast at 3:39 AM on July 6, 2010


After I found their page of YouTube Videos and visited some I became quite impressed - because they are good teenage musicians and an inspiration to other teenagers.

I figure the big girl got a guitar and learned to strum 2 or 3 chords and realized that was most all she needed to sing along with much of pop music. Then the little girl wanted to sing too, and eventually her screeching was trained to the melody. And then somebody successfully got the girls to sing in harmony.

From looking at some of their videos in temporal order I am quite impressed with their development and applaud the parents for keeping these videos online. Little girl is no longer cringe worthy for lack of singing the correct harmonies or mispronouncing words and big girl has advanced in her playing of guitars (sometimes with melodies), bass guitars, and harmonica.

Are these girls worthy for adult attention and listening? I would say mostly not, however their recent cover of the early Beatles' Love Me Do is so spot on, by two teenagers sitting on a couch, that I would add it to my playlist if I had one.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 5:25 AM on July 6, 2010


An 8-12 yr old singing praises to women of easy virtue is a little.... unnerving.

Still, she has the slightly flat delivery that Jagger (often) uses in the song nearly picture perfect.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:39 AM on July 6, 2010


I figure the big girl got a guitar and learned to strum 2 or 3 chords and realized that was most all she needed to sing along with much of pop music. Then the little girl wanted to sing too, and eventually her screeching was trained to the melody. And then somebody successfully got the girls to sing in harmony.

Er, some weird assumptions here. First, in the earliest of these videos, the younger girl is 11 or 12--not precisely the stereotypical age for the kind of characterization (mispronouncing words?) you're doing. Second of all, why figure that they were terrible at first, or that someone external was necessary to "get the girls to sing in harmony"? Why couldn't they just be talented?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:43 AM on July 6, 2010


The Honky Tonk Woman video was posted in October 2007, That would made them: 14 and 12 years old by then. Great achievement for little girls.

I actually initially thought them much younger than that--8 and 11 would have been my guess. Until they opened their mouths, that is. They both have very confident, mature voices.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:44 AM on July 6, 2010


Metafilter: I would add it to my playlist if I had one.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:47 AM on July 6, 2010


Katullus, Needle and the Spoon is actually the cover of theirs that I've been listening to over and over again tonight. They did an awesome job with it -- thanks for the link!

And it's certainly no more unsettling than anything I was doing when I was 15. It's an anti-drug song, for goodness sake.

Watching their videos reminded me a lot of my relationship with my brother when we were that age, and the stuff we did together. (No, not heroin. We did shows together.)

I'm all nostalgic now. I should call him.
posted by kyrademon at 6:20 AM on July 6, 2010


Wow. I'm really blown away by their version of Wish You Were Here.

Very impressive.
posted by threeturtles at 6:59 AM on July 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


The little girl's "WOOOooooo!s in I am The Walrus won me over, excellent stuff.
posted by The Whelk at 8:15 AM on July 6, 2010


Thlaps, a great find. These gals have real talent, especially the one with the guitar: what vocal power at such an early age!

I'm amused by the "OMG, they're singing about heroin and loose women" comments—have y'all forgotten what being a teenager is like? They may or may not go down the dark path, but trust me, if they do, it won't be because of covering the Stones. Talking and singing about sin is fun!
posted by languagehat at 8:27 AM on July 6, 2010


I dunno. I don't think they're very good. The older girl plays okay guitar, but no more than that. The way they sing, shrill and without intonation or emotion is both draining and tiring after a song or two. Their composure and the way they look at the camera suggests tween awkwardness. They're probably talented enough for the local open mike, but beyond that? I guess that's what YouTube has done to us. We forget the difference between true talent and a bunch of teenage girls having fun with a webcam.
posted by monospace at 9:39 AM on July 6, 2010


languagehat: I'm amused by the "OMG, they're singing about heroin and loose women" comments—have y'all forgotten what being a teenager is like?

Oh, don't get me wrong, Velvet Underground's Heroin was one of my favorite songs 3v0r in my mid-teens. Actually, I would've been less bothered by a cover of Heroin... ill-thought out romanticism I can take, it was the world-weariness of the Lynyrd Skynyrd cover that made me uncomfortable. That said, having watched it again, I see the joy and nervousness in the performance a lot more clearly now.
posted by Kattullus at 10:44 AM on July 6, 2010


monospace: We forget the difference between true talent and a bunch of teenage girls having fun with a webcam.

I'd say that the difference is instead of musicians practicing unseen and unheard, YouTube gives us a window into how young musicians progress through obsessive practicing and a widening of horizons. No one is born brilliant.
posted by Kattullus at 10:46 AM on July 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


I cannot help but watch their performances and think "Ann and Nancy".
posted by Ardiril at 11:51 AM on July 6, 2010


Wow, really excellent. Thanks, FJaM. I'd really like to hear them recorded in a better space.
posted by doctor_negative at 12:03 PM on July 6, 2010


House of the Rising Sun was surprisingly good given their age. Nice find. I'll be showing my kids wait, hang on a sec, my daughter's in the room *put the 1972 Fender Jazz Bass DOWN, Nicky!!!* Ahem.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 5:30 PM on July 6, 2010


I'm partial to this cover.
posted by horsewithnoname at 4:23 PM on July 7, 2010


If they live in Germany then they have to know Sweet Home Alabama and Country Roads.

(Went to Germany several years ago and seemed like everywhere I went people were performing those two.)
posted by daHIFI at 9:41 PM on July 7, 2010


If they live in Germany then they have to know Sweet Home Alabama...

Indeed, they have a cover of Sweet Home Alabama up on YouTube. I didn't link to it in the FPP, though, because it's boring as hell. Really, the only thing that song has going for it is the little guitar riff. That's the only hook the song has, and Fiona doesn't play it. She just strums chords and they sing that mind-numbingly vacant non-melody. It really doesn't work.

But you can find their version if you want to hear it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:08 AM on July 8, 2010


Wow. I'm really blown away by their version of Wish You Were Here.
Very impressive.
posted by threeturtles


Yeah, well I'm a New Yorker an I don't cry watching YouTubes. I don't. No, really. Shut up.
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:25 AM on July 11, 2010


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