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Lucius went from being the five-piece Rolling Stone claimed was the “Best Band you’ve never heard of” to the group you can’t get enough of.Fronted by the sleek and compelling look-alike twosome of Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig and backed by their counterpart bandmates Dan Molad, Pete Lalish and Andy Burri, Lucius spent more than 250 days on the road in the past year.
The band’s uphill ascent began when Jess and Holly crossed paths while at college in Boston; more than 10 years ago, Lucius started making music and hasn’t stopped since.Along the way they’ve become NPR darlings, grist for Britain’s prestigious Guardian and favorites of the Nobel-prize winning New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.Since the critically acclaimed release of their 2013 debut LP Wildewoman they have built a stunningly loyal following, and share an intimate bond with their fans.It’s not uncommon to see Lucius doppelgängers in the crowd.Sitting with Jess and Holly to discuss the band’s sonically-grand and emotionally-honest sophomore release Good Grief, the first thing that strikes you when you meet the frontwomen of Lucius is how fine-boned and delicate they both are.But even more striking is that they don’t actually look alike once you see them offstage.
Their builds are markedly different: Jess is curvy, with a generous mouth and eyes that tilt up at the corners; Holly is willowy and angular, serious and with the pale complexion that conjures up the image of a Nordic princess.
But despite the six-inch disparity in their height on stage you could swear they were identical.
Of course it helps that they always dress exactly alike, their hair is the same style and shade — right now a warm curry red — and they sing in a strong unison, doubling their high, clear voices and creating a third sound that is as unnerving as it is lovely, like two mirrors, creating an infinite number of reflections that reveal as much as they obscure. We wanted to present that visually so when you look at us you’re seeing what you’re hearing.” What you’re hearing (and seeing) when Lucius takes the stage are two voices becoming one.
“We wanted to feel like we were transforming ourselves and going into a different head space while performing,” Jess says. The band’s distinctive play on duality showcases Jess and Holly’s powerful voices at the center — bolstered and surrounded by the mathematically precise drumming of Dan with the graceful, chiming guitars of Pete and Andy. Powerful vocals and rootsy guitar work lay the foundation of a sound that is truly American.
Together the quintet create a sound the New Yorker calls “seemingly impossible with flawless grace that brings delicate beauty to even the most bombastic moments.” Jennifer Westwood and the Handsome Devils consider themselves a rock band, but have been winning the adoration of blues and Americana fans from across the U. As one New York reviewer stated: "Jennifer Westwood and the Handsome Devils sound like they made a serendipitous wrong turn on their way to the juke joint and wound up in a countrypolitan cathedral instead”.
Jennifer cut her teeth on Detroit gospel before hitting the gritty local bars that set her career in motion.