Lucius Has Gone Mad, and It’s Fantastic

image

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.

image
DJ M-Schizzle



Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!

Album Review: COHO – Graves EP

Last quarter, I posted an article on COHO and their efforts to fundraise for their first EP. Needless to say, the IndieGoGo campaign was a success as this weekend, the band released Graves.

Slowly and carefully, the EP begins. Its vocal “oohs” coming in waves over an ever-vibrant guitar. As the introduction to “Orion” comes to a close, the drums commence and a male falsetto rings out over a building set of instruments. This first song sets the mood for the album, introducing COHO’s subtle harmonies and interconnected instrumentation. The song’s lyrics are complicated, yet easy to follow – their meaning pervading the happy Oh’s and Hey’s you can’t help but sing along to!

“Burning Oak” begins with a mix of lyrics and synths so catchy that the passing listener could mistake it for yet another indie-pop song. Yet, upon the entry of guitar riffs eminent of Death Cab for Cutie and a rhythm that carries more than just a dance-beat, the EP’s second song breaks out of the genre’s inherit pitfalls. Instead of relying on an insistent chorus to carry the track, COHO waits until the eventual bridge to make a clear lyrical impact:

All my bones are older in the December

They repeat ad naseum, a series of instrumental and vocal layers adding to the intensity of the climax. A full instrumental breakdown fills the majority of the song’s ending moments, until a final repeat of the chorus cooly ends the first half of the release.

The second half of the EP is calmer than the first – its final tracks, “Disintegrate” and “Graves,” following a slower tempo than that of the first two. Filled with lyrical excellence, “Disintegrate” is a vocal-heavy song. Each instrument and vocal harmony follows the lead of a single female vocalist – the synthesizer carrying the spaces in-between. Simply and succinctly (4:05 is the track length, the shortest on the release), COHO paints a hopeful future for the human cycle of change. “Disintegrate,” the track ends, “if you have lost your love don’t lose your faith / disintegrate and wash away / the memories.”

Chitter-chatter fills the air and a solo bass-line fills the soundscape. The EP’s title track starts out strong – the first minute flying by as each new instrument adds to the last. The two main vocalists work together perfectly, their powerful voices strongly contrasting the easy-going percussion. Repeating their soothingly complex layers of lyrics like those that filled the end of “Burning Oak,” COHO finds synchronicity within their seemingly endless mix of sounds.

The band plays together beautifully and the Graves EP displays this prowess. If you were lucky enough to catch the EP Release show at BARBOZA last weekend, I envy you. Now, more than ever, I am excited to see how this new mix of diverse talent and sound plays out in the future!

Stay up to date by following COHO on Facebook and Twitter. And be sure to check out their Bandcamp, Instagram, and Website (where you can buy the EP for $5)!

Dreamy German duos: Milky Chance

Hey, hey, hey, hey friends. Sometimes it’s good to acknlowledge oldies as goodies.

So let’s just talk about Milky Chance.

image


A German folk duo with reggae and electronic music influences made up of Clemens Rehbein
(vocals and instrumentals) and Philipp Dausch (production and DJing),
Milky Chance is badass. Their album, Sadnecessary,
released just last year in October, has 11 tracks that you will either love or
hate. I don’t really think there’s really an in between with Milky Chance. They’re
chilled out dance pop, they’re a German folk jazz duo. It’s hard.

 “Stolen
Chance,” a more upbeat tempo track is the song that made it for Milky Chance,
is catchy with a dance beat of synchronistic claps, funky bass, and on- beat
drums. The vocals are more harmonious, and the -lyrics instantly just get
anyone to groove, with Rehbein crooning, “And I want you/We can bring it on the floor/You’ve never danced like this
before/We dont talk about it/Dancin’ on do the boogie all night long/ Stoned in
paradise, shouldn’t talk about it.” It’s chill, but it’s a boogie song with an
electro-tech vibe finishing out the song.

Rehbein has a
very distinct vocal style, and production wise, the two create this blend of
folk, reggae, and pop with almost this electronic aspect thrown in there for
kicks. “Flashed Junk Mind”  and “Stunner”
on Sadnecessary are some easily
the most relaxed tracks on the album, delivering beautiful broken up rhythms
and scratchy, raspy vocals.  Quickly, you
learn to discover the aesthetic of Milky Chance and you wonder if their sound
will become repetitive and old. But then there’s tracks like “Becoming,” that
instantly give you vibes of old Southern jazz, mixed with indie folk, and
you realize there’s no way Milky Chance can bore you.

The best track of the album is easily “Down by the River.”  Rehbein’s scratchy croons of his lyrics of “Down
by the river, I
was drawn by your grace/ Into tempest of oblivion and to the Lovers place"
overlaying some rhythmically guitar melodies.

It’s probably a song that is the most pop on the album, but has good rhythm and sound.In comparison to “Feathers” and “Sweet Sun” has a sense of dissonance and non-conforming rhythm. It’s free-flowing, it’s a song you listen to when you just don’t care anymore.

I’m not going to lie, I definitely don’t listen to these
guys for their lyrical creativity. It’s lacking a little in that department. It’s
their instrumental rhythms that I love, and I can admit, I love the sound of
Rehbein’s raspy vocals, reminiscent to me of  The Tallest Man on Earth. These guys have already gotten big, but
if you’re fan of vocally distincty Gotye, or the instrumentally dreamy XX, you’ll like this German sound.

They’re on tour this year, so if you have tickets already to
see them somewhere throughout the U.S., then you’re a cool cat. Boogie to “Stolen
Dance” for me.

image
Ariana Rivera

Two Gallants – We Are Undone (Album Preview)

Some call this Folk-Rock, I call it kick-ass! Next month, Two Gallants will be releasing their newest album since 2012. Made infamous by a moment of police brutality in Houston, singer/guitarist Adam Stephens and drummer Tyson Vogel have opened up a whole new can of worms in We Are Undone.

The duo’s last full length release, The Bloom And The Blight, pulled us through every possible set of emotions. Free-flowing indie-punk tracks like “Halcyon Days” and “My Love Won’t Wait” cleverly contrasted blues ballads like “Broken Eyes”. In this album, Stephens and Vogel showcased their signature sound – slow starts with tremendous percussive peaks which bring us closer to the fuzz, buzz, and controlled chaos of the band.

This focus on juxtaposition seems to be even clearer in last year’s preview of next month’s release. Check out the lyric video below:

The vocals ring out openly over an ever-changing guitar riff. During the first shift in the guitar’s melody, Stephen’s tone sounds like Muse’s Matthew Bellamy before the band took its ever-famous electronic escapade of 2012. Nothing is overly-complicated in this mix of textures – alterations of simple progressions take catchy Black Keys-esque movements and bring them to a point of epic dance-ability.

If the track’s abrupt closure only leaves you wanting more… check out the band’s webpage for streams, videos, tour dates, and to pre-order the album!