The two singers from Lucius are a dangerous tag team, sounding powerful without becoming overbearing, tender without becoming too cutesy. Meeting while in college at Boston before traveling to live in Bushwick, they must know each other well, as their voices work together in an uncannily close relationship.
On their debut album Songs from the Bromley House, Lucius shares their experiences of living in this century-old Bushwick residence. This album is filled with warm colors and folksy Americana, working well as a backdrop under the unrushed energy of singer-songwriters Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig.
It's a beautiful thing to hear their voices tell each other's stories together in perfect cadence. You feel the care and sensitivity these two share for one another with every delicate nuance. It's nice to be invited into the Bromley House for a little while...
I'm fascinated by how the Bromley House has affected your songwriting. Can you tell me some of the pre-existing equipment you found here that made it into the record?
Jess: we found the Bromley house (the name we gave it) on Craigslist. When we first walked into the house, we didnt realize we were walking to a musician's dream. a shiny 1921 Steinway Grand Piano stood in the living room, an organ and a couple of upright pianos (the two uprights were original to the house from the beginning and no longer functioning as the house was built in 1899 and they hadn't been kept up).
Holly: Outside of equipment there were actual studio rooms built into the basement with soundproof doors and we recorded some of the album in there. Although none of these instruments were played on the recordings, the Bromley's piano was the main writing tool for the songs on the record.
How did the recording sessions in Virginia complement/work with the material you created from the Bromley House?
Holly: We recorded the bulk of the instrumental tracks in Virginia, and then did the main vocal tracks at Stadium Red Studios in Harlem, and then did final touches at the Bromley house. Every place had it's own spirit and everyone we worked with was a natural fit. it was a true pleasure to have worked with those guys on our first record.
I love how intertwined your voices are throughout this record... Do you feel like you're telling each other's stories throughout the record? Are many of these songs pulled from personal stories or do your muses work differently?
Holly: Most of the songs are written about personal experiences, or our take on friends experiences (usually being eachother). Cowriting is kind of like our coffee talk.
How does your songwriting/arranging process work? Do you envision these songs with the added instrumentationin the songs ahead of time, or does this happen once producer Doug Wample or Ariel Borujow work their magic?
Jess: We usually have an idea of what kind of instrumentation we are looking/going for from the beginning but have always been open to others suggestions. Songs most often evolve during recording, but there is no recording without the song, that's always most important to remember.
It sounds like you have done a lot of touring this year. What's it like going from the Rockwood stage to Ohio and back again in just a couple weeks?
Holly: We have been working the most on a new record here in nyc, but we did do a month of touring in the northeast/midwest which was great. Seeing how our music fits in different places is exciting and weve had a ton of fun playing for welcoming audiences which we are so grateful for. Definitely looking forward to doing more of it.
I just watched your amazing rendition of 'Everytime We Touch'. So how long have you two actually known each other for? )
Jess: That is an amazing youtube video that Holly found of two british girls, who happened to have the names Jess and Holly. They are our favorite doppelgangers, the personalities are spot on. Holly and I met in college, we were friends for several years before we started making music together our Junior year in college - 2 years later we moved to Brooklyn together. You can still catch us dancing around to old classics, just like little Jess and Holly.