Over the past couple of years, Brooklyn-based quartet Lucius has received critical praise and attention from the blogosphere (including this site) and major media outlets such as Rolling Stone who had once named them a “Band to Watch.” and Time who praised the band’s impeccable harmonies, stomping lyrics and a sound that nodded back to Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” production techniques while meshing elements of folk and indie rock to create a subtly modern twist on a familiar and beloved sound. Much like the classic girl pop and pop singles of the late 50s and 60s, Lucius’ material has always burned with an intense earnestness — the sort of earnestness that can only come from truly personal, lived-in experience. And in an age of sneering, self-important pretense and irony, such earnestness is refreshing and absolutely fucking necessary.
Co-produced by Shawn Everett, who has worked with Weezer and The Alabama Shakes; Bob Ezrin, who has worked with Alice Cooper, Kiss and Pink Floyd; and the members of Lucius Good Grief, the band’s highly-anticipated sophomore effort is slated for a March 11 release through PIAS Records. And as vocalist Jess Wolfe explains in press notes “When we started writing for this record, we had been away from home for nearly two years. We had just returned from tour, having gone through such varied emotions—loneliness, sadness and exhaustion alongside excitement, fulfillment and some of the most joyful moments in our lives…Whenever one of us had an idea or a feeling, the other was already a witness to it and could help navigate through it—for the two of us, this usually came in song form.” And as vocalist Holly Laessing added “When considering titles, we wanted to be sure to acknowledge any serious subject matter, while simultaneously allowing ourselves a comic sigh of relief from any personal turmoil. Ha! The yin and yang of the record naturally unveiled itself and, so, Good Grief.”
The album’s second single “Madness” pairs Wolfe’s and Laessing’s gorgeous belting harmonies with an equally gorgeous string arrangement, propulsive drumming, some additional drum programming and swirling electronics which manages to subtly push their sound to the 21st century with the use of electronics — while still firmly looking back to the 60s. It gives a clean and modern sheen on their sound while retaining a swooning, heartfelt earnestness.
The song focuses on both the rapid-fire rush of life and of the conflicting and confusion emotions that can come up in our lives and the difficulty of managing all of that with any semblance of our sanity.