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Local Music Vibe



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About this Artist


Duality and individuality are overriding themes in the music of MACEDO—the surname of twin sisters Michelle and Melissa, who have taken a lifetime of creative energy and talent and produced their emotionally compelling, richly textured indie pop debut “FLAGS AND BOXES”.

Born and raised in Pasadena, California, Michelle and Melissa Macedo were initially influenced by both Portuguese and Indian music as their father emigrated to the U.S. from the former Portuguese colony of Goa in India. Immersed in music and the arts at an early age, they nurtured their unique artistic leanings in close quarters both literally and psychologically.

The concept of duality emerged in their work as they began confronting their individual identities—the girls are basically opposites in nature and temperament yet are connected by that inexplicable emotional bond shared by twins. In addition, the concept of” home” and questions related to a sense of belonging come to the forefront as they deal with their biracial East Indian/European background.

While away at school on the East Coast, Michelle honed her songwriting producing a solo EP, “La Luna” and in a subsequent flurry of creativity, wrote the bulk of FLAGS AND BOXES—mostly during her last semester. Michelle would send the rough versions of the tunes to Melissa for her input; Melissa made melodic suggestions and found spots for her to vocally complement her sister’s lead voice. The two decided to sing together because of their natural chemistry, the way their similar voices blend and the instinctive, seamless communication that had always been part of their musical lives.

Thematically, Michelle’s compositions on the debut album deal with universal subjects of self-discovery, interpersonal relationships and of developing an individual voice. Separating for extended lengths of time while they attended different colleges on the East Coast helped them establish separate identities—differences that are apparent when they perform which lends an exciting artistic tension to their accomplished show.

“Every song on FLAGS AND BOXES represents a time when I've used my voice. Each song is an instance where I've ‘planted my flag’ and each obstacle is another box that is trying to restrict and restrain me,” says Michelle. “Looking back, I realize how much these songs were struggling to say what I have been feeling all along. They’re the only places I can say what I’m thinking and feeling without caring what anyone else thinks.”

Melissa adds: “The years apart were good for us because we needed to develop our own identities. Everyone thought of us collectively, and compared us to each other--she’s the smart one, she’s the funny one and all that. We needed to become our own people. But we’re excited to be back together and working on this music. We each bring a cool perspective to the mix. We instinctively know what will sound good and what will work.”

MACEDO worked with several key people in making FLAGS AND BOXES: producer Kush Mody (Serial Buddies), engineer Nils Montan @ WERS in Boston, co-engineer Andrew Oedel @ Connecticut College and mixer Justin Gerrish (MGMT, Vampire Weekend). The album was mastered by Fred Kevorkian (Regina Spektor). While the songs are driven by Michelle’s artful acoustic piano, MACEDO’s sound integrates French horn, Wurlitzer, grand piano, electric bass, guitar, violin, cello and organ creating a rich and unique palette.

The first single to radio is the full band edit of “Caught” produced by Khris Kellow (Christina Aguilera), mixed by Mario Luccy (RealSongs) and mastered by Randy Sharp (Dixie Chicks).

“In so many ways,” Michelle says, “I feel like I am caught between two worlds of identity, not fitting into anything. Sometimes I feel like people's assumptions are all that I am. As an identical twin, my identity has always been relevant to somebody else. We were rarely able to be individuals. We grew up to complement each other. Also, being bi-racial, we have never felt like we fit in one place or one particular side of the family. I strive in

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