I first came into contact with Lucius about four years ago, when they could’ve been described as a minimalist folk duo. However, in the past year they’ve reinvented themselves as what could be described as a five-piece space age gospel outfit, whose influences would seem to be equal parts Americana, synth pop, and Phil Spector girl groups… They’re pretty hard to pin down. Last year they released their self-titled EP. The band, which was originally comprised solely of Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, now includes former members of Elizabeth & the Catapult Dan Molad and Peter Lalish, along with Andrew Burri. Last year the band found themselves playing three Philadelphia gigs (supporting Theresa Andersson at the Tin Angel, and both Milo Greene and Pearl and the Beard at Johnny Brenda’s) and this Friday, February 15th, (en route to SXSW) they will be headlining MilkBoy Philly, alongside Hannah Georgas and, my own personal friends, Hank & Cupcakes, for what I’m guessing will be the most solid bill the city sees this year.
I recently got a chance to chat with Lucius’ Jess Wolfe… as she was organizing her wedding invitations (That’s a first, for me.) More than anything, I wanted to know just what it was that inspired such a complete makeover of the band’s sound between their debut LP, Songs From The Bromley House, and their latest EP, and Wolfe very quickly clarifies that the two have very little to do with each other.
“It wasn’t a band then. It was just Holly and I… It was the same name, but it’s so separate from what we do now. That work isn’t even currently available. It’s not that we’re embarrassed by it. It just has no relevance now. It was our first time ever recording together, or separately… You learn a lot from that process: What you like, what you didn’t like. You naturally grow as artists, but we wanted a family, so we made it for ourselves with this band. We wanted to dance and have fun and not be so serious about the music. We were just being completely open-minded, just letting it be what it is, but when you’re surrounded by different types of people, you’re automatically going to be influenced by them.”
However, Wolfe tells me that she is not at all a fan of trying to characterize the sound of Lucius and the she finds the notion to be largely useless in 2013: “Anything is everything these days. You can’t label anything because everything is influenced by so many things.” As for 2013, she tells me that we can expect to see a lot of Lucius.
“Definitely a lot more touring, hopefully some festivals. We’re going to put out a full-length, hopefully for summer. We just want to get in front of people. We feel like our live show is in a really good place right now.”