Earlier this month, twin-sister duo Megan & Liz released one of the most meticulously constructed, joyfully executed singles of the year, "Release You," and stopped by the Billboard studios to present a stripped-down take on the track. The Max Martin- and Shellback-helmed lead single from the 20-year-old duo's forthcoming debut album, "Look What You Started," "Release You" is a power-pop break-up track inspired by real-life events -- in fact, Megan and Liz Mace told Billboard during a studio sit-down that the single drew from a pair of concurrently souring relationships.
"Both of us were in this situation with guys where we were just like, ugh, done!" says Megan Mace. Liz adds, "I feel like all of our songs are real-life inspirations, but especially 'Release You' is like a double-hit, because it's not just one of us -- it was both of us -- who were like, 'Release you. Bye.'"
"Release You" follows the Michigan duo's breakout success on YouTube, as well as a slew of original material released over the past two years. Last year, the single "Bad For Me" was accompanied by an official music video and promotional tour; the official clip has garnered 3.4 million YouTube views, and has sold 207,000 downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Next up: a proper album, due out in late summer. "The whole album is very upbeat, very fun," says Megan. "I'm very proud of every single song on the album… We want every person to relate to at least one song on the album, so we tried to do a song from every part of the map."
Produced by Top 40 maestros Shellback and Max Martin and co-written by Savan Kotecha, "Release You" is Megan & Liz's most accomplished single to date, and with a flashy pedigree that will extend to their debut full-length, the duo has quickly become an entity to watch in the pop sphere.
"At this time last year we were just getting ready to release 'Bad For Me,' and if someone had told me that all of the things that happened throughout last year and this year would have happened, I wouldn't believe myself."
Check out a special studio performance of "Bad For Me" by Megan & Liz below: