Touring the country in support of their 2013 debut album Wildewoman, Lucius played The State Room on Valentine’s Day 2014. I’d never heard of them. But, to live a Wonderland existence you must be willing to venture down a rabbit hole from time to time. Lucius was one of those wondrous discoveries for me! They’re a four-piece band from New York featuring two female lead singers, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, who reflect a broken mirror image of each other — performing in the same dress and same hairstyle, like twins. But they’re not twins or even sisters. Their voices, however, blend like two ethereal sirens calling you to some mysterious place.
Wolfe and Laessig’s individual voices morph into a rich and mesmerizing third sound. That night in 2014, their blended harmonies commanded the intimate concert space with their avant-garde indie-pop dance song, “Turn It Around.” Then their woven vocals filled the venue for “Go Home” as a slowly building drum beat guided their hypnotic harmonies. There is something magical about those evenings when you serendipitously witness a performance that completely blows you away. With some vinyl and a concert poster in hand, I left the Lucius show as a true convert. The poster adorned the wall of our spare bedroom until the pandemic forced us to turn the space into a work-from-home office. However, a copy of that poster is still displayed on The State Room’s wall of fame.
My wife and I were proud to be Lucius fans on March 8, 2018, when Wolfe and Laessig joined the Amplifying Women’s Voices Rally at the Utah State Capitol on International Women’s Day. There they sang a chilling acoustic version of “Woman” in the Capitol Rotunda. Their voices echoed in the halls of the Utah State Legislature in hopes that leaders would listen to women who were fearful of losing Constitutionally protected rights. We rallied alongside them as KRCL broadcast their rotunda performance live. Later that evening they played another amazing show at The State Room.
Since 2014, I’ve followed Lucius as they released great material like Nudes, a fabulous acoustic record with a fresh reinterpretation of Gerry Rafferty’s “Right Down The Line.” Wolfe and Laessig’s vocals have been in demand on studio recordings by artists like Lukas Nelson, Brandi Carlile, Harry Styles and Nathaniel Rateliff, to name but a few. Additionally, Wolfe and Laessig have been working a side hustle as backup vocalists in Roger Waters’ Pink Floyd shows.
Lucius is coming back to Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, for a KRCL-sponsored show at The Commonwealth Room, touring in support of their new album Second Nature. The record featured a polished mix of disco-pop tunes like “Dance Around It” (featuring Brandi Carlile and Sheryl Crow on backup vocals) and soulful, vocal-forward gems like “The Man I’ll Never Find.” I’m sure the Commonwealth Room will be able to put its disco ball to good use when Lucius takes the stage. Another trip down the rabbit hole awaits.
Opening the show is Fort Worth-based singer-songwriter Abraham Alexander who blends elements of soul, hip-hop and blues into his contemporary folk style.
- Who: Lucius w/ Abraham Alexander
- What: Feels Like Second Nature Tour
- Where: The Commonwealth Room
- When: November 12, 2022
Read more coverage from music writer John Nelson here.