Summer night songsters
Sibling duo Me & You are a backyard barbecue of blues-pop and country
Somehow, I got into a me&you backyard show—a concert for the indie-folk band’s closest friends and family in their hometown. There was something so compelling about this show, where siblings Connor and Karlee Hormell performed for people they personally knew and loved. The un-obnoxious, friendly hipsters in the audience were on a level with the band to even tease them a bit, and “ice” them in the middle of the set. They did not worship me&you, but danced to them as equals, celebrating the release of their Chasing Trails EP, available July 17th.
While I’m sure the lyrics of this sibling duo reflect their actual childhoods and those of the audience, I, a stranger, also felt connected to their music, and one with the band. Me&you has a warm, comforting sound that makes me feel loved and cared for through music. They make me feel like everything’s going to be OK.
For example, the title song, Chasing Trails, is about following your own path in life, but ultimately making your way back home. Some lyrics: “Don’t need saving / I’ll find home one day / But I’ll be chasing trails until I find my way.”
And “Drunk & Dancing” is about letting go of the struggles of day-to-day life, and going out with somebody you love: “Babe, let’s get drunk and go dancing / Any old cheap red wine will do.”
While these lyrics are simple, me&you is full of complexity. They’ve put blues, pop and country into a blender, adding a bit of southern comfort and a dash of Sactown sass. Though their songs are feel-good and fun, many tell stories that are actually quite deep and sad, though uplifting in their outcome. Me&you’s new single, “Georgia,” tells a girl she needs love—real love—the kind that sticks around a while: “Georgia, I thought that I told ya / Can’t keep tearing back the bottle / Handing out your love for free … You can learn a little something / Love is really what you need.”
I think it’s natural that on my way to my first me&you show, I questioned this two-person act. I wondered if one sibling would outshine the other.
For the first few songs, I thought Connor was the dominating force. He has a killer voice, calming presence and a star quality about him onstage. But a few songs later, Karlee came in with “Call the Doctor,” a “little country tune,” as she called it, and an edge I realized is what keeps the group sounding like something new.
It seems in me&you, one cannot shine without the other. And what’s really beautiful is that the siblings realize this and give each other the musical space and support to do so.
This lesson may have been learned while the siblings took a break from the music industry in 2016, traveling together in a camper van through New Zealand. On this trip they developed their songwriting craft and strengthened the roots of their love for music. Before New Zealand, they were performing under the name, “Connor and Karlee.” Returning to California, they were going by “Me&you,” demonstrating their support and reliance on each other, as two siblings with one dream.
After the show, one of Connor’s roommates told me, “me&you is like a warm summer night, out having a beer with friends.”
I couldn’t agree more. And I’m not sure what sounds better than this.