Megan & Liz are 23-year-old fraternal twins who you don't know you already know. They've been writing their own music and posting it on YouTube for 8 years to establish a successful career in music. They were signed to a label a few years back that shut down unexpectedly and left them without the rights to their masters and with a fanbase waiting patiently for an album that was never coming. The duo has moved from YouTube covers in their mother's kitchen to blaring pop anthems to yesterday's country-pop release, Deux. This 7-song EP marks the beginning of Part 2 of their career, and it's sitting proudly at #4 on the iTunes Country chart.
Megan & Liz have created this EP without the support of a label. They are completely unsigned, and I've spent the last 36 hours trying to figure out why. Their accomplishments are clear and indisputable. It's easy to Google the stats on their album and ticket sales, but more impressive is their will to work—consistently, on their own, and remarkably so. They have stayed relevant to their fans for 8 years without wavering—a huge feat for anyone in the entertainment industry. They run a beauty channel on YouTube where they regularly post tutorial videos that garner a substantial number of views. Their follower count on all popular social networks is unprecedented for an indie band with virtually no radio play. They spent their EP release day online, keeping up with fans and constantly promoting the tracks on their own—in the hours when a signed artist would have been on Good Morning America or running from radio station to radio station to promote, they supported their own sales by speaking to fans directly. Megan & Liz are proof of the power of individual connections with fans; they have mastered social media, and in this respect the only thing left for them to do is gain the support of a formal marketing team.
Deux proves once again that they can write, and in a variety of formats. The hook of "Just a Name" is perfectly marketable for country radio, the lyrics in the chorus of "That Ghost" can rival any Nashville songwriter's, "Big Kids" is guaranteed to stay in your head for days at a time. Their writing and online presence prove that they are representing their generation and doing it well. Megan & Liz have an established and unique persona: twin sisters/best friends, taking on the adult world together, with super-small-town origins, always lugging around an acoustic guitar, staying loyal to a fanbase with unparalleled dedication, successfully aiming for both country and pop fans, acting as Millenial post holders, becoming bigger-than-YouTube YouTubers, and blending genres, personalities, and harmonies, then writing honestly about it all.
Megan & Liz have done all this through a grassroots campaign; there was no overnight success, no family member in the industry, no deus ex machina. Their work ethic should be written about in textbooks. They've managed to put together a credible and commercially successful 7-song EP independently—imagine what would happen if a label actually put money behind them! If they had access to the finances and the skills of the best in the business? What if "Big Kids" was pushed to radio by a team of people with college degrees in marketing, instead of just by the two of them? What if they had the opportunity to polish their songwriting with Liz Rose or record a few cuts with Nathan Chapman? It sounds like a sure-fire route to the biggest, loudest, most triumphant, most incredible Megan & Liz yet. I suppose when that happens, we'll call it part trois.
To buy DEUX on iTunes, click HERE. No seriously. Go buy it.