Whether they're blending their voices to create heavenly harmonies or playing dazzling melodies on piano and guitar, Ali and Andi Dalton find comfort in performing together. As identical twins, Ali and Andi have been writing music together for a few years, and recently released their debut album, titled “Ali and Andi,” on March 31. 

Ali and Andi’s music falls into the singer-songwriter, folk genre, with plucky guitar lines and breathy vocals layered on top of one another to create a chorus of harmonies. 

Two of the ten songs on the album are covers, including The Beatles’ song “Help!” The duo said they take inspiration from The Beatles when writing their music — especially the complex chords heard in many of the band’s songs. 

Growing up in Hickory, North Carolina, the sisters’ experience with music began with musical theatre. After a few years, they decided to take a different route and Ali began to learn guitar while Andi began to learn piano. Eventually, Andi joined her sister in learning guitar during her junior year of high school.

“We started having lessons together too, with songwriting and harmony, and music theory,” Andi said. 

Ali and Andi work with Limelight Records, Elon’s student-run record label, but when they first came to Elon, the sisters didn’t know about the label. After attending the fall organization fair, the sisters were introduced to the label and quickly joined. 

During the time leading up to the debut of their album, Andi said Limelight recommended they release a few songs from their new record before releasing the whole album at once. According to Ali, she said she believes releasing a few songs prior to the album release gained more listeners for their music and the record overall. 

Andi and Ali returned to their hometown on April 5 to celebrate the release of their album with a release party and performance. At the event, their shared guitar teacher, Alan Mearns, was celebrating the release of his own music. 

Throughout the recording process, Mearns guided the duo and taught them about music production. According to Ali and Andi, recording the album was different from performing live but was a whole new adventure.

Ali and Andi produced their album with the financial assistance of the Innovation Artist Project Grant awarded through the United Arts Council of Catawba County. In a recent Instagram post, the council wrote about Ali and Andi’s journey in creating music, encouraging the community to attend the release show.

“The blend of sweet harmonies and acoustic guitars are what makes Ali and Andi’s music so beautiful,” United Arts Council of Catawba County wrote.

Receiving the grant in May, Ali and Andi already knew they wanted to create an album, but needed to write more songs. Four months later, the duo finished writing songs for the album and began recording the tracks. 

While Ali and Andi share many of the same interests, their songwriting processes differ. Ali said she enjoys writing lyrics before thinking of the instrumental composition, pulling inspiration from moments and events in her life. Andi said she’s the opposite of her sister when it comes to writing as she writes more conceptually about hypotheticals, focusing on the musical composition before bringing in lyrics. 

While the two musicians agree that recording their music was an exciting experience, they said that performing live together is more fun. Especially at their live shows, Ali and Andi said they find comfort in performing with each other.

“I'm not as nervous because I have her with me,” Andi said. 

Ali and Andi do not plan on majoring in music and are currently undecided. Andi said that’s because she worries music will stop being as exciting and start to feel more like work as a major. However, they said they plan on making more music.

“We’re still trying to write more,” Ali said. “So, it'd be cool if the album did well to maybe do another one.” 

Ali and Andi’s next live show will be at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 19 at The Oak House as a part of the coffee shop's live music performances.