The songs of Brooklyn-based quintet Lucius range from alt-country ballads and ’60s psychedelic to percussive pop with beguiling melodies and dance rhythms. But it’s the powerful harmonizing vocals of lead singers Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig that really separate their sound from the mainstream.
Listening to the band’s acclaimed debut album Wildewoman (2013), it’s easy to assume there’s just one singer, such is the impressive vocal union of Wolfe and Laessig.
Currently in the middle of their “Lucius x Lagunitas” Pacific Northwest tour, the band tells EW about its unique ambitions this time around.
“We are aiming to gain awareness for nonprofit organizations and give our attention and support to the same communities that have supported us,” Wolfe and Laessig explain via email. Ticket sales from their Eugene performance benefit MECCA, the Eugene arts organization dedicated to redirecting materials from the waste stream to creative projects. Each show on their tour benefits a local nonprofit.
“There are so many different ways to influence social change through art — turning what’s considered ‘normal’ or ‘acceptable’ on its head,” Wolfe and Laessig explain.
They list Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Sam Cooke, Nina Simone, Nirvana, Pussy Riot and others as counter-cultural artists who invert the paradigm. “Art and music has always brought groups of people together,” they write. “It is a universal language that anyone can take part in.”
Lucius encourages social change by reinforcing activism’s relationship to music, an undeniable union, not unlike the voices of Wolfe and Laessig coalescing into one thrumming harmony.
Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Nik Freitas joins Lucius at 9 pm Thursday, Nov. 19, at WOW Hall; $14.