The XX Factor

The Little Sister Always Goes Indie

So your older sister is a top-tier recording artist, a mononymous household name, and married to Jay-Z. How do you cope? Besides enrolling in dentistry school, the one tried-and-true path to younger-sibling success-and independent stardom-is diverging from the mainstream path. Think Ashlee Simpson. Sister Jessica hit it big in the late ‘90s with a stream of chart-topping, sugary pop tunes and an infamous MTV reality show, but when Ashlee entered the scene she chose to go less bubblegum and more brat. Her first album showcased singles like “La La” with quasi-tough girl lyrics, “You can throw me like a boomerang. I’ll come back and beat you up,” while Jessica was busy doing light-rock radio covers like “Take My Breath Away.” Obviously Ashlee Simpson is more Avril Lavigne lite than Black Flag punk, but, you know, it’s all in comparison.

Enter Solange Knowles, Beyonce’s little sister. She already has one album under her belt, along with a cover of hipster-song of the moment ” Stillness Is the Move .” Last night at Highline Ballroom she appeared on stage with indie darlings Of Montreal, looking far more L train than hip-hop, and performed a cover of “I Want You Back.” It was fairly awesome .