Lucius’ Holly Laessig talks indie band’s rise, new album

amNewYork spoke with Holly Laessig.

There are two things that are immediately striking about indie pop band Lucius. The first is the way the voices of its two lead singers, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, intertwine, with nearly every lyric sung in unison or harmony. The second is the group’s style. Wolfe and Laessig wear matching outfits onstage and look practically identical.

After the Brooklyn band’s successful 2013 debut, “Wildewoman,” Lucius hit the road, performing at major festivals and appearing alongside artists such as Roger Waters, Jack White and Jeff Tweedy. The band’s new album, “Good Grief,” is a reaction to those exciting, but also difficult, times.

amNewYork spoke with Laessig.


You’ve said “Good Grief” reflects the highs and lows of the last two years. What has that time been like?

We had just been on the road for two years pretty much non-stop. … When we started sifting through [our song ideas], it was a lot of depressing lyrics. It was meaningful but heavy. I think a response to that was, “Let’s not get into this right now because we’re exhausted. Let’s write some light songs.” So the record became this sort of polarized subject matter, where you have really heavy sensitive material and some lighter more digestible material to counteract that for our own sanity.


Did you feel like you were losing part of yourself as your popularity grew?

The more attention you get, the more you have to think about how you’re presented. It becomes this persona, so that it does become difficult to be like, “Who am I again?,” especially when you’re identically matching someone else.


How did you and Jess develop your singing style?

That was why we decided to put together a band in the first place. We were working on covers to do for a show at school. When we started to sing in unison, we were like, “That’s cool.” It sounds like stereo but you could do it live. We played a lot with unison and harmony. I’ve always been influenced by groups that sing harmonies.


What about your visual style?

It was always a response to trying to mirror what we were doing with the music. We were mirroring each other. We were singing the whole melody together as lead vocalists. We were facing each other on stage. We thought, “Let’s exaggerate this even more and play on it.”


How important is a band’s visual style to the way you enjoy them?

The ultimate example is David Bowie. He is a huge influence for me. … As an audience member, it has always pulled me into the experience more to see someone up there who has created this whole world. As artists it’s the same way. All five of us are united. We’re in this sort of warrior gear together. It puts you in a different mindset. It just takes you there, and that’s the only way you can take someone else there.

If you go

Lucius performs March 31 at 9 p.m. at Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 N. Sixth St., Williamsburg, sold out.

The band also performs April 1 at 8 p.m. at Webster Hall, 125 E. 11th St., sold out.

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