Brooklyn pop sensations Lucius base their origins in symmetry
PUBLISHED: 11:29 10 April 2014 | UPDATED: 11:29 10 April 2014
Â© Peter Larson 2012
Perhaps the most refreshing thing about Brooklyn pop sensations Lucius is that you can feel their music even before a note’s been played.
Such is the striking retro aesthetic of their two leading ladies, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, that the colour, symmetry and harmony of their debut record is evident from their bleached block fringes alone.
Produced by Danny Molad, who also drums for the band alongside wife Wolfe, Wildewoman was last week released in the UK, having created quite the buzz in America over the last six months.
Comparisons to Fleetwood Mac are obvious – musically as much as the inter-band relationships – but their glimmering sunshine melodies equally bristle with ’80s synth and modern vocal production to create a sound that is infectiously fun.
“I think that’s really important,” Molad admits. “There are some artists who like to slave over their art and relate every experience, be it sadness, happiness, but for us, our work has to be vocational.”
The male contingent of Lucius certainly seem to buy into the idea – for a while they sacrificed themselves to the visual cause by sporting identikit moustaches reminiscent of the 118 men.
Even though Molad has since, regrettably, allowed a beard to grow, he explains it is this symmetry that has seen hits like Turn It Around and Nothing Ordinary lead to recent opportunities like appearing on TBS’s Conan.
“The girls always talk about loving artists who double their vocals, such as Elliot Smith, so we thought what if we could do that live? Everything we did started to revolve around reinforcing those ideas, sometimes consciously, sometimes not. That’s why you can see how live, we’ll have two drummers, two guitar parts and basslines, until everything comes together as one.”
You’d be forgiven for thinking Wolfe and Laessig similarly come as a twin package, but although their shared image is painstakingly produced (they even get haircuts together by the same hairdresser) they are not even related. Instead, the family atmosphere that plays into the band’s carefree ’60s charm comes from Molad and Wolfe.
Despite the famous touring perils of husband-and-wife groups such as ABBA and Fleetwood Mac, this musical couple are happily managing it and will continue to do so when they come to Hackney’s London Oslo this Wednesday.
“It’s definitely a fine balance that you need to strike, especially because music’s such an emotional process. When you’re doing something creative, it’s always going to involve and require emotional investment, but at the same time, it makes it so rewarding to share these amazing experiences together. At its best, it’s almost better than sex.
“Of course the flipside would be that you were away from your partner all the time, so that would surely be even harder.”
While Wolfe and Laessig have been playing together for 10 years since meeting at Berklee School of Music, it was only when Wolfe brought Molad into the loop four years ago that the band began to take off.
Fresh from leaving old band Elizabeth and the Catapult, the drummer recruited Pete Lalish and Andy Burri who collectively formed Luscius’ signature groove.
“In any working relationship, there reaches a point where you think if you’re enabling me and I’m enabling you, let’s keep this going. I was thinking the other day too that when you’re in one band and join another, the new band just becomes an extension of what you were trying to do before.
“We’ve been really lucky in that everyone we’ve been able to work with is so excited and really wants this project to do well. The combination of that desire and energy, mixed with the hope of doing something unique and cool, has brought about a great change.”
Lucius play Hackney’s London Oslo on April 16. For more info and tickets, visit oslohackney.com.
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