If you’re anything like me right now, instead of doing the work you’re supposed to be doing, you’re procrastinating and watching the videos that auto-play on Facebook. For example: I just finished watching thirty minutes of dogs getting rescued while trying not to cry. I put the “pro” in procrastination.
Well, while you’re wasting time, you should treat your ears to Lucius’ newest album, ‘Good Grief.’ It was released March 22nd, and I haven’t stopped listening to it since.
The Brooklyn band is hard to compare to just one artist. The album starts out with the groovy tune, ‘Madness.’ The perfect harmonization between lead singers Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, gives way to an electronic beat mixed with a twinge of strings. It feels decidedly 80’s. Somehow when you’re listening to it you’re transported to an 80’s dance club complete with feathered hair and windbreakers. Towards the end of the song there’s a key change that makes you want to stand up and kiss the feet of every member of this six member band. The same goes for ‘Almost Makes me Wish for Rain.’ The upbeat track seems like it should have been on a Paula Abdul album.
Just when you’ve zipped up your windbreaker and break out the MC Hammer dance moves, you hear their single ‘Born Again Teen.’ This time vocals are laid over grungy guitar riffs that feels of 50’s doo wop music. Forget the windbreakers; bring on the polka dots and the mashed potato dance move.
The track ‘Dusty Trails’ seems beautifully intimate. It feels like a song you would listen to as you sit next to the fire and rain hits the window. Those signature harmonies mix with a basic beat and low synthesizers. It feels a little bit like a Sharon Van Etten tune that makes your heart and brain melt at the same time. ‘Dusty Trails’ slows it down for listeners and also showcases the talents of Wolfe and Laessig. Even when you don’t think they will, they hit impressively high notes. The lyrics are refreshingly honest and sounds like a page ripped out of their diaries. Lines like, “I’m halfway to misery, some say once you go halfway there’s plenty of time to return…these dusty trails lead you to a golden road.” The track ‘What we Have (To Change)’ follows the same suit and is heartbreakingly sincere. The half electronic, half acoustic tune explores the all too familiar feeling of falling out of love.
Finally, there’s the last track ‘Let’s Dance,’ a direct nod to the musical legend David Bowie. It’s so easy to bombard a song while covering it, taking away all of the original artist’s integrity. Lucius’ took creative liberty while keeping Bowie’s integrity. Lucius deconstructed the originally melodic song into a groovy acoustic feel with subtle Spanish influences. I think David Bowie is looking down and approving.
It’s hard to put a label on ‘Good Grief’ or the band Lucius itself. ‘Good Grief’ is a rollercoaster of emotions, so brace yourself. At times you’ll be dancing in your chair in the library, other times you’ll want to weep in your chair because of awesomeness. This album shows how musically inclined this group is. Everything is clean, though through, and expertly produced. Do yourself a favor and treat your ears to Lucius, you won’t regret it.