Tag Archives: Good Grief

Lucius Has Gone Mad, and It’s Fantastic

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Bonnaroo-bound folk-pop quintet Lucius is on a beautiful trajectory. In 2014, they performed in a high
school classroom
. In November of 2015, they played for the Alzheimer’s Society in Washington and participated in Bedstock to support MyMusicRx (an
organization that curates musical performances for hospitalized youth.) Now,
Lucius is becoming too popular for these intimate venues and more local causes – but
they are still wholeheartedly about the music – and that unadulterated passion manifests in their work.

The earliest version of the Lucius ensemble was a vocal duet: Jess Wolfe and Holly
Laessig, who met at Berklee and began working together. Their resolution to sing melodies
in unison was a happy accident that has since become their auditory trademark. Mutual
friendships brought guitarists Andrew
Burri
and Peter Lalish and
drummer Dan Molad into the mix, and
a sixties-esque synergy ensued. Jess and Holly dress identically for
performances, usually with corresponding coordination from Andrew, Peter and
Dan. But their sound is even more cohesive than their aesthetic; Lucius has
synchronized their groove while leaving room for the individual members to
contribute singular dynamics.

“Born Again Teen”, the first single on Lucius’s forthcoming album Good
Grief (
out March 11th) Is
a romping celebration of a return to adolescent boisterousness, with a playful
video to match.  

But the second single, “Madness”, is where the promise of
the new album truly lies. “Madness” is more complex and exhilarating than the
songs on Lucius’s previous album, Wildewoman
(which has a slightly more subdued merit of its own.) It is a climactic
declaration of stylistic progress.  Richly
textured instrumentation constantly shifts beneath the melody, until thrilling
halts in sound announce the hopelessly catchy chorus. Violins you didn’t even
know you needed enter the mix midway through and give the song the flare of
innovation that is characteristic of Lucius’s whole discography. Soon after, a
surprising foray into a higher key (perhaps meant to demonstrate a fit of
madness) adds intrigue to the already captivating ride. Experience the brilliance
below:

If Lucius’s new sound is this kinetic in studio, we can only
dream of what it will be like in concert. This group is a force of nature on
stage, always nailing vocal challenges and adding nuanced theatrics to live
renditions of their work. I had trouble choosing which live performance to
feature here because each one is inimitable. Ultimately I decided on the one
where I liked Jess and Holly’s look the best. Feast your eyes and
ears – and drive yourself to sweet, sweet, madness. 

Follow Lucius on Facebook, Twitter
and Instagram (where they
are particularly active), and YouTube to
track their vibrant ascent into prominence. Their U.S. tour has already been announced,
but they have indicated that more dates will be added soon, and Seattle is
likely to be among them.

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DJ M-Schizzle



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