It's not often you get a chance to meet someone that lives in two different people. Austin, TX based SIGNY is very clearly one such example. Talking to Amy and Delaney was an enormously fascinating experience. The electro-pop duo dresses the same, finish each-other's sentences, and even respond the same way at the same time. So in sync they are that they consider SIGNY to be the primary driver of their collective efforts, rather than efforts on behalf of either of the bandmates.
These mythological soul sisters also know damn well how to lay a track down. Their SoundCloud is sparse but rest assured these two are sitting on a goldmine of an album. Ahead of two of their SXSW showcases last month I sat down with them to see if I could break through the mystique that pervades every shred of information you can find about them. To go alongside the interview, they graced us with the premiere of "Kings" their second track off their forthcoming album "Water".
MM: How'd you guys meet?
Delaney: We met on Myspace.
MM: What do you mean?
Delaney: We met on Myspace.
Amy: We met on Myspace. I messaged Delaney...
Delaney: ...and she was like, "Hey it seems like your career is going really well. Can I take you to lunch?"
Amy: I was reading a lot of business books at that time on how to reach out to people.
Delaney: She was like, "Can you teach me some things?" So then we ended up playing on the same bill for like 10 years off and on. Then when we moved to Austin, we were like "let's just start a band and do something totally different."
Amy: And then we sang together.
Delaney: From there it just took off like crazy.
MM: What did you guys think of each other while you guys were playing on the same bill?
Amy: We were big fans ...
Delaney: ...and we were friends.
Amy: But very independent artists. Neither of us could have ever seen the partnership that developed.
Delaney: No, neither one of us ever wanted to be in a band or with other people. We were just kind of doing our own thing, and now we can't imagine it any different.
Amy: It's very strange.
MM: Walk me through how the concept of SIGNY developed.
Delaney: As we were initially thinking about band names we knew we wanted it be symbiotic. When we're on stage we both play the same keyboard, we both sing in very tight harmonies, its almost like one voice. We want to look like twins so we set everything up exactly the same. So we were looking at Norse mythology names and we had this band name Kara. We were like, "Oh, Kara's gonna be great."
Amy: And it was perfect in many ways.
Delaney: It was so perfect in many ways. Then we looked it up and it was this really famous...
Amy: ...K-pop band.
Delaney: So then we starting digging deeper and found out that there are these two twin sisters named SIGNY in Norse mythology. So we are SIGNY combined.
Amy: They're from separate legends but the two heroines share the same name.
Delaney: Which was amazing 'cause we were just doing our thing as Amy and Delaney. Two heroines in separate legends.
Amy: SIGNY is very much her own entity and we both feel this way.
Delaney: It's strange.
Amy: When we're in our costumes we're SIGNY. It's mythical.
Delaney: It has nothing do with us.
Amy: We're like, "Yes, SIGNY's doing really well."
Delaney: She's really in charge of everything.
Amy: "SIGNY has an interview today."
Delaney: It feels an outer body experience constantly. What happens on stage could never be me or Amy by ourselves. It can only happen together. It's bizarre.
MM: Do you guys dream as SIGNY?
Amy: SIGNY dreams us, I think.
Delaney: She's like, "Heres where you girls are gonna go. This is what you're gonna do." It's very bizarre.
MM: Very interesting. What is SIGNY's songwriting process?
Amy: Very collaborative.
Delaney: We write everything together. If one of us starts writing something we'll send it over to the other person to finish it so that every song is both of us.
Amy: Then we'll flesh out the harmonies together.
MM: How long did it take til you guys worked well together like that?
Delaney: Immediately. The first time we got together I had a very small idea for a song and I think we finished it during that sitting. I always loved her voice.
Delaney: But when we sang together, it was like nothing I ever expected. The frequency of our voices made one voice that was the most incredible thing I'd ever heard.
Amy: It really was.
Delaney: I felt like I wanted to cry. We planned to hang out and play songs, maybe do an open mic. But then by the end of that first day we were like "Oh, maybe we're going to win a Grammy." It literally felt like that.
MM: What do your live performances look like?
Amy: Our process is dialed in. We show up, unpack our gear, then jump off the stage.
Delaney: That said, we didn't even really know what we needed to do as an entity because we'd both been solo performers for so long. We didn't really realize how tight we needed to be as a band. There are so many little nuances.
MM: Do you guys choreograph much?
Delaney: No, we don't, it's very freeform. But what's really weird is when we play videos back we'll do the same move at the same time.
Amy: It's not planned.
Delaney: It's so bizarre.
MM: Are your creative flows different?
Delaney: I'm a morning person.
Amy: I'm a night person.
Delaney: If I could wake up at 5:00 AM every day...
Amy: I would die.
Delaney: ...and just get my day done by 11:00, that would be my dream...
Amy: I would die.
MM: Do you guys have arguments?
Amy: Actually, no. Unexpectedly.
Delaney: I think we really have a very strong mutual respect for each other. Before we'd ever get to an argument point we'd say "Hey, this is something that bothering me. Can we talk about this?"
MM: What do you do if you see that the other is struggling?
Delaney: I think its important to let each other know that we're here. "What do you need? What can I help with? What can I take the load off?"
Amy: We check in a lot. We're constantly in communication.
MM: Telepathically apparently.
Amy: Of course! 'cause we have the same brain.
Delaney: We're really good business partners too. Our next project is as Amy and Delaney. We're launching a podcast called the Music Biz Babes. Our podcast is basically a female centric insider look at the music industry. Our goal is to empower women in the music industry to develop the skills to build something great.
Amy: We wanna share what has worked for us.
Delaney: Our first talk is about trusting the process.
MM: What are some of the other lessons you've learned thus far?
Delaney: We are very firm believers in community, especially in music. For us, we have learned that helping other people in our community helps us too.
MM: Can you give me a lowdown on the story for your forthcoming album?
Delaney: It's called Water. I don't know how it happened, but water seemed to be a running theme through the record. Every song has some reference to water in some way or another. It's very bizarre and we did not intend that. We realized it at the end, and we're like, "Okay, it's clearly something."
Amy: It's diverse but it's also cohesive. All sorts of variations of electro-pop.
Delaney: It's really an empowering record, too. It's big. It's lush.
MM: Do you guys produce your own music?
Delaney: We don't, no. We build a lot stuff to get the ideas fleshed out, and then we just hand it over to the professionals.
Amy: Let them create it the way that we want to hear it.
Delaney: It's good. You hire people that know what they're doing and let them do their job. It's also finding your strengths and knowing your weaknesses.
MM: What do your guys' fans look like?
Delaney: It seems that people who are in the midst of finding their self expression are big fans of ours. People that are itching to dive a little deeper into who they are as a person and explore their creativity, I think those people are really drawn to us musically.
MM: Why do think that is?
Delaney: I feel like we give people the space because we're so over the top. We give people permission to be whoever they want to be. Like, "Don't worry. We'll look like assholes for you. You're gonna look fine."
Amy: SIGNY, Minimalist Space Strippers.