Lucius

(Photo: courtesy of the artist)

Doubling up is key to the sound and image of Lucius.

The band's two lead singers -- Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig -- wear identical outfits onstage. They share a single microphone, and rather than harmonizing, they often sing the exact same melodies.

Wolfe and Laessig first connected at the Berklee School of Music in Boston. They shared a love for the "Wall of Sound" records producer Phil Spector made in the 1960s with groups like The Ronettes, The Crystals and The Beatles. Spector recorded layers of voices and instruments to create a huge sound.

Wolfe and Laessig decided to use this layering approach by writing songs with two vocalists singing the same melodies. But while Spector's tracks were studio creations, Lucius wanted to make its own "wall of sound" in live performances.

OpenAir spoke with Lucius before their headlining show at the Gothic Theatre. Wolfe recalls the first time they tried blending their voices when the band formed in 2005. 

"It was sort of shocking," Wolfe says. "I remember thinking it sat in a sisterly way, like a sibling voice when our voices joined. We knew it was special." 

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Wolfe and Laessig have worked together as Lucius for more than 10 years. They claim their vocal synchronicity is second nature now. Laessig says their voices complement one another -- and also support one another. 

"We can depend on each other if one person’s voice is a little bit tired," Laessig says. "The other person can sort of compensate."

Lucius recently released their sophomore album, "Good Grief." They wrote it after the band spent a year on tour, with only 21 days at home. The lyrics focus on the burnout from that tour, and how it affected their relationships. 

As the title “Good Grief” suggests, Lucius attempted to put a positive spin on a tough experience, not only for their own sake but also for their audience. There are many references to madness across the album, but the music is upbeat and lively.

"Finding humor and lightness in the difficulties and the darkness was really important for us to keep it moving," Wolfe says. "We didn't want to make the listener suffer all that much in the way that we were."

Laessig says the lyrics and the music of "Good Grief" represent the emotional and physical extremes of being a performer.

"You’re playing for an hour and a half and it's this completely euphoric experience," Laessig says. "You’re feeling and experiencing the highest highs that you can. When you get offstage your body has to compensate for that -- a little bit of payback, and you experience some low lows."