Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Lucius at the Rose Bar

In 2005, while attending the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig bonded over a love of old-school soul, David Bowie and the Beatles. Wolfe and Laessig started writing songs together, composing lyrics that explored their empathetic sense of otherness. The two supported each other by singing in unison, noting that they were drawn to doubled vocals on recordings. Wolfe and Laessig first performed their songs as Lucius in Boston area music clubs in 2007, accompanied by a cast of rotating musicians. After graduation, Wolfe and Laessig moved to Brooklyn, New York, into a Victorian home and former music school that included a 60-year-old recording studio. With access to residual recording equipment and instruments, including a grand Steinway piano from 1921, they attracted the other members of the current group, multi-instrumentalists Dan Molad, Peter Lalish and Andrew Burri, all of whom had attended Berklee years before. Lucius' third album, Good Grief, will be released on March 11, 2016.

Performing tonight at the Rose Bar in the Gramercy Park Hotel, Wolfe and Laessig dressed identically (even to the hairdos!) and sang synchronously, two voices as one, on original stories spun from the same perspective. Wolfe and Laessig accompanied themselves on synthesizers, keyboards and percussion, but the riveting feature of their performance was their harmonic vocal kinship, which often lilted and resonated classically as the two voices mirrored each other. Whether rooted in a vintage country music flavored crooner or a 1960s girl-group-styled pop ditty, the singers' dual vocals were as mesmerizing as their retro smocks and their futuro leggings. Meanwhile, the three male musicians, dressed in matching suits, alternated between guitars and percussion and propelled the sound for a full and hearty band setting. Much of the set was powered by punchy dance beats, but it was the few country-flavored songs that were most impressive. Look for Lucius to generate a big buzz both in indie music and indie fashion.

Visit Lucius at www.ilovelucius.com.