Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Album review: Lucius - "Wildewoman"

The Brooklyn quintet Lucius actually started some nine years ago when Jess Wolfe met Holly Laessig. They instantly knew they'd be making music together. Wolfe and Laessig recorded an album with guest musicians called "Songs From The Bromley House", a spare and pretty album. They'd later decide that it wasn't a true representation of what they wanted to do as musicians and hooked up with Dan Molad and Pete Lalish, both formerly in Elizabeth & The Catapult, the former also being a producer. As a quartet, they released a stunning self-titled ep produced by Molad highlighting a stronger band aesthetic, as well as Wolfe and Laessig's stellar harmonies. Later, they would add Andrew Burri to complete the band. Now comes "Wildewoman", a fully realized vision of Wolfe and Laessig's musical and lyrical aspirations, fleshed out wonderfully by the atmospherics of Molad, Lalish and Burri. Three songs from the ep make appearances here, two of them re-recorded and improved. "Go Home", their majestic ballad remains unfettered, and with good reason. There was nothing to improve on. "Turn It Around" gains a little more echo, a little more of a 60's "Wall of Sound" feel, while "Don't Just Sit There" gains more focus on harmony. There are no weak tracks on "Wildewoman", simply songs that stand out a little more than others. Of those songs, "Tempest" rides a wave of sonic perfection with soaring harmonies, "Nothing Ordinary" features insistent rhythms and interesting time changes, a perfect chaos, if you will and "How Loud Your Heart Gets", which seems to take flight and then rest comfortably somewhere in the stars. It is easily one of the best songs this band has recorded to date and the perfect song to end this stellar album with.