Matching vintage outfits, similar haircuts, voices that work wonders when they work in unison… The pop-rock duo Lucius, active since 2005 and formed by Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe, makes the same impression on us as the heroines The Demoiselles de Rochefort. In a retro-futuristic and glittery version. The two friends who met in the 2000s, when they were students at Berklee College of Music in Boston, shape music that resonates like an efficient and danceable cross between ABBA, Arcade Fire, Scissor Sisters, Fleetwood Mac, Robyn and Haim. This alchemy is almost magical, so much so that the American media RollingStone called them “best band you never heard of.”
These two ultra glamorous singers and musicians (accompanied on their records and live by male colleagues), have already released three albumsbefore their last opus, the excellent and very disco Second Nature, is published on April 8th. If they talk little about their private life in interviews (and refuse to give their exact ages), we know the false twins (and real BFFs) installed in Los Angeles have, at the beginning of their career, lived in an old Victorian mansion in Brooklyn in which there was a recording studio with more than sixty years and old pianos. What explains their sense of harmony, which evokes the girl bands of the 60s.
This harmony, reinforced by their Siamese gaits, propelled the Luciuses into exciting adventures. They thus ensured the backing vocals for Harry Styles (who would have credited them only as “backing vocals” and not as co-authors when they would have helped to develop the melody of one of his hits) and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd. They have also collaborated with Sheryl Crow, David Byrne, The War On Drugs, Kurt Vile, Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne and John Legend. Holly Laessig tells us: “We have been very lucky to collaborate with so many wonderful artists. We made great music with them, made friendships, and exposed ourselves to new audiences. We toured with Roger Waters for three years, and it was amazing to be part of his universe. He wanted us to shine and thought that giving us a real platform and credit was a good thing, not a gesture that would take away the spotlight from him on stage. That’s what you expect from true collaboration, uplifting others and uplifting together.” The artist adds: “I will always remember when we sang Dark Side of the Moon with Roger Waters in an open-air arena in Brazil while a storm rumbled.”
Not to a feat of arms, the two singers have also participated in many soundtracks. One of their singles, Million Dollar Secret appeared in the last season of the cult HBO series Girls, directed by Lena Dunham. We also heard them in the hit shows Grey’s Anatomy and New Girl. The Luciuses also lived unforgettable moments on stage. Holly Laessig recalls, moved by precious rock’n’roll events: “While on tour, I changed my son’s diaper in Joni Mitchell’s room after Elton John asked to hold him. I also had the pleasure of singing one of Paul McCartney’s songs for Sir Paul him. -same.”
Yet the craziest thing to happen in the life of the American artist is much less “show off”. “VS‘was probably about sharing a bottle of wine in an ordinary college apartment and talking to Jess, Lucius’ other half, about how we should sometimes sing together. Sometimes the moments that seem the most ordinary become truly extraordinary.”
And turn ordinary life moments, like stories of love and broken marriages, into extraordinary songs, it has just become Lucius’ specialty. On their new album, the adopted Californians document “the stages of a heartbreak, from loss to questioning how to find love again, to experiencing joy along the way.” Hollly Laessig thus sums up the concept of their new disc, Second Nature: “It’s an album to dance through the darkness.” And after listening to shimmering hits like Next to Normal, Heartbursts Where White Lies, we realize that dancefloor therapy works wonderfully.
Second Nature (2022) by Lucius, available on all platforms.
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Meeting with Lucius, the ultra glamorous rock duo dubbed by Harry Styles, Pink Floyd and Ozzy Osbourne
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