Artist Spotlight: Lucius

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Long time, no post. Even longer time, no Artist Spotlight. Let’s change that now (I’ve been wanting to get this one up for a while)…

While on my 2-year mission in Peru, I had the chance to work with many different fellow missionaries, and being together all the time, we had many different conversations. Quite a few of them were, of course, about how we could help the people we were teaching or the area we were serving in, principles we had studied, things we had learned, or about an appointment we were heading to, etc.

Once in a while, however, being 20-something-or-so year-olds, we’d talk about slightly more, as we called them, “worldly” things…like music, for example. Once while with a missionary who was not my regular companion but with whom I was working for the day, we got on that subject. We discovered we had very similar tastes in music, and he gave me an intriguing musical recommendation…a band called Lucius.

Lucius band picture

“Like Lucius Malfoy!”, I joked. (Yes, same name and pronunciation as the “Harry Potter” villain.) I told him I would be sure to check them out upon returning home (which in this case was a few months later), as the name alone really piqued my curiosity. I did end up sampling their stuff…and of course, as is the case with pretty much every artist I spotlight on this blog, the rest is history. I fell madly in love with their music.

New York-based band Lucius is a five-piece group with lead vocalists/instrumentalists Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig at the forefront. Their harmonious vocals are gorgeous, but that would be nothing if the music wasn’t interesting as well…and it most certainly is. The singing, the songwriting, the instrumentation, the whole vibe in general all combines to make something truly incredible.

Here’s a good introduction to the wonder that is Lucius–one of their singles, “Turn It Around.” It has kind of a girl-group sound, combined with a deliciously modern indie pop sensibility:

Another one of my favorites is “Hey, Doreen,” another wall-of-sound inspired, uptempo treat. The music video will perhaps remind some of you country fans a bit of “Goodbye, Earl” by the Dixie Chicks…it’s a bit left-of-center for sure, but I think it’s really cool and tons of fun:

Lest you think Lucius’ music is limited to peppy, 60s inspired fare, here’s two slower tunes…the title track to their album “Wildewoman,” and the riveting, acoustically driven “Two of Us on the Run”:

To wrap things up so you can get to listening to Lucius on your own, here’s one of my absolute favorites of theirs, the expansive yet haunting closing track of their album, “How Loud Your Heart Gets.” I know I use this phrase a lot, but you seriously can’t get much better than this:

Be sure to check out their album “Wildewoman” (available in an excellent deluxe version on Spotify as well), and I also highly recommend their great Tiny Desk Concert on NPR. Thanks, as always, for reading and listening. I’ll be back soon with more terrific music.

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