Lucius is a female duo that sent us this interesting promo a while back. I got the promo just a few days before they played Atlanta back in October, enough time to be intrigued but not be that familiar with the EP.
And Lucius was interesting in concert: two girls with keyboards and great harmonies backed by a three-piece band. They really rocked, and the music came across well.
And then i came back to this promo and found that, when this was recorded, the band consisted only of the two girls: Jess Wolfe & Holly Laessig. I dunno which of the two was the blond girl as opposed to the swarthy girl that I saw live, but whatever. I guess the three boys were a hired backing band for the tour.
And, i think, shows. This EP mostly showcases the vocals that Wolfe and Laessig are capable of. They harmonize together quite well and have some vocal talent, but what i saw live was a little more than what i hear on this EP. Which means that, for me, the EP is kind of a letdown. Lucius can do better -- i know, because i have seen it.
Let's go over the four songs here.
The EP starts with Don't Just Sit There. An acoustic guitar strums a melody, and then the two voices just come in, slightly echoed and lovely. They layer in keys behind the guitar, and slowly the rest of the instruments (did Wolfe and Laessig play them here, or were there hired guns in the studio as well?) come in, and the two voices just start wailing. This shows the voices quite nicely, and the music is not bad at all.
The second track, Turn It Around is really stunning. It starts with a nice keyboard melody, and then slowly builds as Wolfe and Laessig just wail away, until the drums are thundering and the bass is rumbling and they are AAAH-ing along. The whole thing has a slight hint of retro 60s girl group feel to it. Not as much as, say, The Pipettes, but just a little. This really rocks, and the voices and the music all blending together.
For Go Home Lucius go country. This song has sparse drumming with a deep bass thunking as Wolfe and Laessig harmonize sweetly. Eventually a violin wanders in, and one girl (i don't know which) cuts loose a little bit. The voices totally outshine all of the rest of this song.
And finally there is Genevieve which has a staccato rhythm, echoed guitar, and the two voices singing through a hint of distortion. But it just never really gels for me, seeming like they had a vocal track, and just threw some instrumentation at it. At the end, the drums are really going off in every direction, which just emphasizes the messiness of the song.
In fact, i would say that the EP starts with fully realized songs and gets less well planned as it goes along, ending with a mess that they probably should have kept to themselves and/or worked on for a bit longer.
But Lucius is a young act, and overall the vocal strength on exhibit here is really interesting. I am curious to see what Wolfe and Laessig do next.