Like Tegan & Sara (with whom they’ve toured), Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Brooklyn Indie Pop band Lucius wrap their vocals around each other, both in harmony and unison, with the impressive precision of two vocalists who’ve sung together their entire lives. Unlike Tegan & Sara, Wolfe and Laessig didn’t meet until they were college students in Boston and are, despite audio (as well as visual; the twosome dress in matching outfits) evidence to suggest the contrary, not identical twins.
The duo’s telepathic, two-become-one vocal approach floats endearingly catchy melodies over the five-piece’s colorful, quirky and spacious Pop backdrop. The crafty arrangements on Lucius’ debut album, last year’s Wildewoman, are a big part of the quintet’s appeal, with Wolfe and Laessig’s synth and piano-based song structures fleshed out by the other members’ creative guitar work and unconventional rhythmic patterns. The combination is dynamic Pop music without pretense or predictability, reflecting the avowed influences the two singers bonded over in college (Bowie, The Beatles and vintage Soul), but also showing traces of contemporary Indie Pop (in the vein of Tegan & Sara, Grouplove and Lykke Li) and dashes of ’80s Top 40 (the group has covered Whitney Houston in concert and recently unveiled a cool, deconstructed cover of the Tears for Fears hit, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”).
Wildewoman was received very warmly by critics; outlets like NPR and Paste (among others) featured the album on their year-end “Best of 2013” lists. Lucius is spending 2014 on the road, hitting up many of the major music festivals in the U.S. (including Forecastle, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and the Newport Folk Festival) and also traveling throughout Europe, which, along with Australia and Japan, finally saw the release of Wildewoman this past March.
LUCIUS with SARA BAREILLES play PNC Pavillion at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 29. Tickets/more info here .