The Wild Women of Lucius Remain Unique

Categories: Feature

Willie Davis

'Two Jimmies," says Holly Laessig with a laugh. She and Jess Wolfe have settled on the same drink, the Jimmy El Camino, after deciding together which flavor combinations sounded most appetizing on the General Greene's drink menu. "[It's] a spicy, sweet mixture," explains Wolfe.

See also: It Takes A Lot To Get Lucius Down

As co-frontwomen of the Brooklyn-based quintet Lucius, Laessig and Wolfe have crafted their signature sound out of doing things in unison. When performing onstage, the two wear matching, mod-inspired outfits while intertwining their belting, booming voices along to their band's folky lyrics and pop-minded musicality. "People would comment so much on the two of us being one voice," says Wolfe. "We really wanted to enhance that and do something to visually represent that."

The incarnation of Lucius we see today, which is as pristinely and professionally packaged as an emerging band can get, has taken several years and interesting phases to get to. "It's seen many lives. It's like a cat," jokes Wolfe, who cringes alongside Laessig as they remember "the Portishead, jazz phase of Lucius" and folkier, more stripped-down versions of their former selves. "Every phase that we've had has been an important one because we take the best of those things and continue moving on and incorporating it," says Laessig.

Laessig and Wolfe met in 2003 at Boston's prestigious Berklee College of Music. For them, crossing paths was more destiny than luck. "We both came from places where we didn't feel like we were really part of a community," says California native Wolfe. "When we found each other, there was such a sense of peace and happiness."

"We were not the cool girls in school," says Laessig of her experience growing up in her native Ohio. Both women say they wanted to carve out a community for themselves, and once they encountered one another and the rest of a strong group of girlfriends they cultivated during their time in Boston, they were able to do so together.

Wildewoman, the band's debut album, is the most direct descendant of the social network the two wove together from college onward. The album's title and title track felt like a natural fit for music created by two women heavily affected by the strength of other female figures in their lives. "We both were acknowledging the fact that we surrounded ourselves with women that were individuals and that were goofy and wild-spirited," says Wolfe. The word "wildewoman" came most directly from Laessig's nickname "wildegirl," bestowed on her by her mom.

See also: Lucius - Music Hall of Williamsburg - 8/14/13

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