Lucius (photo by Piper Ferguson, PR)
Few bands in popular music boast two musicians who unswervingly function as one. The quintet Lucius can. What makes this Brooklyn band even more unique is the fact that those musicians are the band’s two lead vocalists, Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe. Performing together as if they are of one mind, even dressing in matching outfits, Laessig, Wolfe and their Lucius bandmates are about to begin their next chapter with a new album, Good Grief.
Since releasing their 2013 breakthrough album, Wildewoman, Laessig, Wolfe, her husband Dan Molad, Peter Lalish and Andrew Burri have seen their star rise as a result of steady touring. Laessig and Wolfe have also been supporting vocalists for other artists, like fellow indie darling San Fermin and Pink Floyd member, Roger Waters.
Good Grief picks up where Wildewoman left off, but this time out, the proceedings are a bit brasher and the emotions run a little higher. While writing the songs for Good Grief, Laessig, Wolfe and Molad moved to Los Angeles to escape the pace and pressures of New York City. This left Lalish and Burri behind in the Big Apple. This exodus out west and the tensions and difficulties encountered after Wildewoman's release, during a period of hard work, influence the lyrics between the grooves of Good Grief.
The contrasts on Good Grief can be measured by songs like “Dusty Trails" and “Born Again Teen." “Gone Insane,” quite possibly the album’s most intriguing song, is essentially a skirmish between Laessig and Wolfe. As the song builds, emotions run high until the two singers break off into individual wails and yowls, directed at each other. It’s a fascinating exchange and is followed, appropriately, by a song called “Truce.”
In the album’s quietest moment, like "Dusty Trails," there are lines like, “Dusty trails can lead you to a golden road,” detailing the trek west in search of tranquility. Finally, “Born Again Teen” relives teenage enthusiasms over special moments of discovery that will, inevitably, evaporate come adulthood.
As evidenced on Good Grief, Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe are a stunning and dynamic team. Lucius is a band that's hard to ignore.