Posts Tagged ‘Lucius’

Jesca hoop 01

From the new album “Stonechild” Red White and Black is a one of a kind within the songs off Stonechild. It’s a bitter pill… an anecdotal antidote. We get to hear Lucius sing with me the chorus ! The video which was directed by my old friend and collaborator Elia Petridis and his company Filmatics was a true adventure to make…from conception to execution. I’m game.

Jesca says of the song “Red White and Black” is a poem, like a snapshot, set in post civil war USA when slavery was “abolished” and swiftly rebranded by the prison system. It’s a personal acknowledgement and willingness to join the conversation for change”.

A culmination of life and musical experience, uncompromising in its vision, Stonechild, the new studio album from Jesca Hoop is a self described “compassion project.”

Released on July 5th by Memphis Industries, Stonechild is Hoop refined and defined. Beautiful, subtle and stark, her fifth album, the follow up to 2017’s highly acclaimed ‘Memories Are Now’, is her best yet.

Despite being a long term resident of Manchester, Hoop, has until now, returned to her native California to record. This time round however, “it was” according to Hoop“time to step out of my comfort zone, my safe place”, venturing south to Bristol to team up with producer John Parish (PJ Harvey, Aldous Harding, This is the Kit). Parish’s minimal and purist approach helped clarify Hoop in her ideas and subtly yet effectively realigning her sound. The simplified arrangements draw focus to the fundamental sophistication of the songs.

While Hoop’s trademark finger-plucked guitar and ethereal textures remain, the songs and their presentation are ever more direct.Parish“was a gentle collaborator until he killed one of my darlings” Hoop jests. “I’ve never been so brutally edited, and I wasn’t shy about expressing my discomfort at the sight of my work on the cutting room floor. He said, you will forgive me, and in some way I think I actually enjoyed that treatment…being stripped back to the bare basics…albeit painfully”. Stonechild ventures further into fresh territory with other voices joining the narrative, with Kate Stables (aka This is the Kit) Rozi Plain and Lucius singing the choruses and expanding the sensual depth of the sonic bloom.

Embedded in Hoop’s song writing is an inherent unpredictability something she ascribes to being “guided more from instinct than study”. Perhaps more than ever before, Stonechild sees Hoop lead us through uncharted landscapes across the course of the album. “When I look at the history of my life, I realise I have the breakdown of not only my parents’ marriage but also the breakdown of their parenting to thank for the wild and unexpected course that my life would take. I went looking for a raw and rugged world. the opposite of what I was raised in.”

The album title was settled after a trip to a Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum, where the Stonechild is a sad, compelling display of an unborn foetus carried by a woman for over 30 years. “They become a hard ball of bones, a rock. Phonetically, it’s a beautiful sounding word – hard and soft – but also, I am taken by the idea of carrying something for a long time, perhaps in secret and then giving it up. I hope I have made an album of substance. There is meat on the bone”.

There certainly is; the breath-taking Shoulder Charge, with Lucius contributing backing vocals, speaks of stigmatized culture and the kind of isolation that is formed by shame in a world where were “we are actually and truly the same …even in our differences. To understand all is to forgive all”.

Old Fear of Father tackles an exhausted patriarchy and misogyny but if it was perpetuated by females. “I love my boys, more than I love my girl, try not to show it, she’s knows, like I knew”. It’s bare yet dense arrangement reveals a story that is both heart-breaking and shamefully true.

On Red White and Black, Hoop chants down white supremacy. “Now the iron cloth that’s cut from the loom bares the black and white stripe of a cotton field rolling- And the dark mines and flame of redeemers put them right back in the iron cloth and the flag is waving”. As Hoop says “current politics is fucking disturbing. I write from personal perspective, about relationships mostly and I don’t find much music in politics, but as hate crimes increase, women’s rights are being rolled back, and the two nations I call home are building walls… well, the political has become deeply personal.”

The folkiest moment on the album, the Kate Stables featuring Outside of Eden,concerns those young ones whose development is now guided by technology and the increasingly intimate relationship between child and device. Come shut in boys for the girlfriend experience, enter the code and I’ll taste real”.

Stonechild, Hoop says, is intended to “wrap its arms around our human planet spinning in its increasingly precarious wobble”. These rich and curious songs derived from themes of our troubled times speak Hoop’s heart and mind from her empathetic yet tough loving centre point. With writing so fluid, so natural the result is an album where everything is truly meant.

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It’s easy to overlook the latest album Nudes by Brooklyn indie-poppers Lucius. On the surface, it’s a stopgap release, a quickly recorded acoustic album of previously released songs and a few covers – the band’s Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig have been touring as Roger Waters’ backup singers and have no time to make a more involved record. But Nudes shows a stunning new side for the group. Songs like “Tempest” and “Something About You,” which were buried under heavy rock back beats and layers of synthesizer on their original LP versions, are reborn as rousing vocal showcases. Their cover of Tame Impala’s “Eventually” allows Wolfe and Laessig’s voices to cascade and blend into beautiful harmonies; and on “Million Dollar Secret,” previously a one-off single for HBO’s Girls, they let their voices build until they explode for a fiery finale.

Lucius performs “Feels Like a Curse” at The State Theatre in Portland, ME on March 16th, 2018.

Dawes: <i>Passwords</i> Review

Taylor Goldsmith and his band Dawes latest album release. “Passwords”, This Is Dawes’ sixth studio album, It features 10 new soft-rock songs indebted to Laurel Canyon circa 1972 and in particular the sound of Jackson Browne, with plaintive melodies, soothing piano and lyrical platitudes that are just unspecific enough to feel relatable, like the scenarios in self-help books. There’s the earnest, if self-satisfied, attempt to find common ground on “Crack the Case,” where Goldsmith murmurs rueful lyrics as piano and acoustic guitars mingle behind him. His regretful would-be lover on “Mistakes We Should Have Made” wishes he’d gone for the kiss despite the obstacles, his ardor framed by the prominent snap of a snare drum pushing a mix of acoustic guitar and keyboards, with distant backing vocals from the girls of Lucius. “Feed the Fire” slides around on a slippery guitar riff and shimmery synth parts, and Goldsmith reflects on empty ambition at the top of his vocal range in a way that calls to mind Private Eyes-era Hall & Oates.

Passwords, inspiration pulls guitarist/ singer Taylor Goldsmith, drummer Griffin Goldsmith, bassist Wylie Gelber, and keyboardist Lee Pardini into their most universal, topical territory to date. This is a record about the modern world: the relationships that fill it, the politics that divide it, the small victories and big losses that give it shape. Taylor’s writing is personal at points – the result of his recent engagement, which lends a sense of gravity and self-reflection to album highlights like “Time Flies Either Way” and “I Can’t Love” – but it also zooms out, focusing not on the director himself, but on everything within the lens.

Dawes' Taylor Goldsmith on the Secrets of <i>Passwords</i>

Some artists are naturally loathe to discuss their work in microscopic detail, lest any telling trade secrets be revealed. Not perpetually-disheveled Dawes frontman and main songwriter Taylor Goldsmith. At the mere mention of the Los Angeles group’s slightly sinister new sixth set Passwords, he sings like a canary over every last nuance of the Jonathan-Wilson-produced set, which opens with the Brontosaurus-stomping “Living in the Future” and the abject ode to apathy and ennui, “Stay Down.” And he holds nothing back.

“On one hand, it was important for me to start the record with those two tracks, since they were the bleakest of all he songs, and I felt like if the album were to end with either of those songs, we would have been sending a listener off in the wrong mood,” he explains. “And that’s a mood that we don’t believe in or subscribe to. Other more upbeat numbers like “Crack the Case” and “Time Flies Either Way” are a reaction to that attitude, so I was questioning certain things in life, of what it means to be alive at this moment in time.”

Elsewhere, he expands on these theories, like in “Feed the Fire,” wherein his need for stardom is the same flame that will eventually consume him, and on “I Can’t Love,” which—without cynicism—celebrates the new love he’s found with his fiancée, actress Mandy Moore. “And ‘Greatest Invention’ is a swan song to an image of a woman that never existed,” he says. “And the whole record is about where we’re living, how dark I might feel about it, and then finding some sort of purpose and some sort of meaning in a connection with just one person.”

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Fronted by the enchanting Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, Lucius has drawn acclaim for their powerful songs showcasing taut hooks, along with their mesmerizing stage presence and bold visual aesthetics. The New York Times described Wolfe and Laessig’s vocals as being “especially gorgeous,” while Rolling Stone says Lucius is “powerful enough to knock you over.” Talented multi-instrumentalists Peter Lalish and Dan Molad round out the group.

The band has released a pair of albums to date : Wildewoman in 2013 and Good Grief in 2016, which landed on various best-of lists and elicited praise from The Times for its “sunshine-drenched pop” and “vocal harmonies carrying songs rich in melody.”They recently contributed the song “Million Dollar Secret” to one of the last episodes of the HBO show Girls and scored the soundtrack to the film Band Aid.

Wolfe and Laessig have become in-demand collaborators on their own – singing on albums for artists including John Legend, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, The War on Drugs, as well as Roger Waters’ most recent release, Is This the Life We Really Want? – and have toured as part of Roger Waters‘ band over the last few years.

“MADNESS our new song “Madness,” which started off as nothing more than a transcript of a dream before becoming the opening track on our previous album Good Grief

BORN AGAIN TEEN we’re creating a fan-sourced lyric video for our single “Born Again Teen. “Film what it means to YOU to be a “Born Again Teen” and be entered to win a signed vinyl test pressing of Good Grief 

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We’re pleased to release our Tame Impala cover of “Eventually”. It comes from our new album Nudes out March 2nd.

We wanted to include something special with the NUDES vinyl packaging, something that felt nostalgic and immersive in the same way that the recordings did. Having had them as a kid, zoetropes came to mind; those paper cylinders you spin to watch a moving image through the slits. Turning to the online art community, we figured it was worth a look to see if anyone else was on this wavelength. A few hashtag searches later, with one leading to another, phenakistoscope brought us to our new and incredibly talented friend Drew Tetz. He created this insert for our vinyl that combines old technology (your record player) with new (your smartphone camera) to create this trippy moving image. Check out his incredible work. He has been an absolute pleasure to collaborate with and we can’t wait for you to try these at home! . Available in the Deluxe Vinyl Edition of NUDES

Lucius “Eventually” is a Tame Impala cover from the Lucius acoustic album, NUDES, out March 2nd.

LUCIUS – ” Nudes ” EP

Posted: January 24, 2018 in MUSIC
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Choosing to record an acoustic album, Jess and Holly say, “Amidst nearly every performance over the past few years, we’ve had the opportunity to strip away everything – be it at the center of the crowd, or on stage around one microphone, or in tiny, unexpected rooms around the world – all to share and create an intimate, heartfelt connection with our audience. It’s these moments that have inspired our newest project, NUDES. Recorded over two days at New York’s legendary Electric Lady Studios, NUDES is a collection of acoustic songs: new, from our back catalog – reimagined, and covers we’ve always wanted to record. It is a record giving homage to what has been…and a hint at what’s to come.”

Following the announcement of their 2018 US Acoustic Tour, Lucius have released a new acoustic version of “Until We Get There.” The song was released on Friday and features a stripped down version of the original track off of their 2014 debut album Wildewoman. It’s simultaneously making us nostalgic and excited for the acoustic tour. Check out the track and see if they’re coming to your town next year!

Lucius – “Until We Get There” (Acoustic) [Official Audio]

We’re thrilled announce three unforgettable nights of music, dance and merriment in San Francisco at The Independent to ring in 2018. We’re calling it ….

 A NEW YEAR’S TRIPTYCH
DEC 29 – intimate, acoustic sets (w/ music from Bedouine + dance from The Seaweed Sisters)
DEC 30 – we go ELECTRIC (w/ music from Veers + dance from The Seaweed Sisters)
DEC 31 – an epic New Year’s celebration (w/ a dj, surprise guests + an open bar!)

Many surprises will unfold and each night will be one-of-a-kind!

Jess and Holly continue to tour with Roger Waters in his band throughout October across Canada. The show is spectacular, and if there’s a tour date near you, we highly recommend it.

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Those in attendance at Desert Trip may have missed last night’s presidential debate, but Donald J. Trump’s ominous presence was felt throughout Waters’ headlining set. As he performed “Pigs”, the Pink Floyd member flashed several anti-Trump images. One depicted Trump making a Nazi salute, another had him wearing a KKK hood. There was also an image of the Republican presidential candidate holding a dildo as a rifle and one in which he was was butt naked with his micro-penis in full view. When Waters sang, “ha ha, charade you are,” the word “Charade” appeared overtop Trump’s face.

A number of Trump’s own racist, bigoted, or factually inaccurate messages were also displayed on the video screens, and during his performance of “Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2″, Waters brought out a choir of children wearing t-shirts that said “tear down the wall” in Spanish.

Even Pink Floyd’s iconic inflatable pig was repurposed to mock Trump with a message reading, “Fuck Trump and fuck his wall.”

“It’s rare that someone like me gets a platform like this, and I’m going to use it,” declared Roger Waters to thousands gathered in Indio, California, for the final night of Desert Trip’s opening weekend on Sunday. He was the last of the six major acts to perform, all of whom date back to the 1960s and the era of rebellion songs. Before the night was over, he made vivid connections between his work with Pink Floyd and the political crises of the moment.

So there was a truck-sized inflatable pig floating above the crowd during the song “Pigs,” with a map of the U.S. painted on one side with the words: “Together we stand, divided we fall.” On the other side was the face of Donald Trump and the words “ignorant,” “lying,” “racist,” “sexist” and “Fuck Trump and his wall.”
Waters was more aggressive in messaging as he weaved politics as an essential element of his performance of Pink Floyd classics. He read a poem of rage and protest called “Why Cannot the Good Prevail” that he wrote on the eve of George W. Bush’s second term and expressed ongoing support for Palestinians in the multi-decade conflict with Israel.

Desert Trip 2016
But the music of Waters did not become overtly political until late in his career, beginning with his final album with Pink Floyd, 1983’s The Final Cut. Before that, his concerns were largely with madness and the dehumanizing of the personal. Sunday’s set eased into focus with classic Floyd imagery, with a vast moonscape on the stage’s super-wide screen, as familiar sound effects from Pink Floyd recordings slowly emerged from the venue’s various speaker towers, like something on an old quad stereo from the Sixties or Seventies.


The music began with “Speak to Me” and “Breathe,” the opening songs from 1973’s The Dark Side of the Moon, which remains one of the best-selling albums in history. From the same album was “Time,” lush and forward looking but classically melodic amid the dark messages: “Short of breath … one day closer to death.”
From The Wall, Waters strummed an acoustic guitar and sang “Mother,” with the words “Mother should I run for president?” drawing cheers from fans, then a bigger response for “Mother, should I trust the government?” The gifted singing duo Lucius were recruited as vocalists, and performed the the voice of “mother,” sweet, soulful and smothering.

Roger Waters

Set list
“Speak to Me”
“Breathe”
“Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun”
“One of These Days”
“Time”
“Breathe (Reprise)”
“The Great Gig in the Sky”
“Money”
“Us and Them:
“Fearless”
“You’ll Never Walk Alone”
“Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)”
“Welcome to the Machine”
“Have a Cigar”
“Wish You Were Here”
“Pigs on the Wing 1”
“Pigs on the Wing 2”
“Dogs”
“Pigs (Three Different Ones)”
“The Happiest Days of Our Lives”
“Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)”
“Mother”
“Brain Damage”
“Eclipse”
“Why Cannot the Good Prevail”
“Vera”
“Bring the Boys Back Home”
“Comfortably Numb”

“Something About You” is the newest track off the Lucius’ new album ‘Good Grief’ due out on the 11th March , Lucius have shared a fairly ‘out there’ new video for their latest single . It’s the third song they’ve revealed from their upcoming album ‘Good Grief,’ after previously releasing ‘Born Again Teen’ at the end of last year. ‘Good Grief’ comes out on 11th March via Play It Again Sam Records.

Lucius’ bonkers new video for ‘Something About You’ was directed by Los Angeles’ Mimi Cave, who has also directed several video bits and bobs for tUnE-yArDs in the past. Band vocalists Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig skip around a plastic world of pyramids and mysteriously opened doors, growing extremely long limbs, and dancing in blank white rooms (serious ‘Hotline Bling’ vibes, there) throughout.

Wobbling bass plucks, wafting synths sent straight from Saturn, and hypnotic kaleidoscopes; this is surreal, barmy pop music of the best kind. We’re dead chuffed to have the first play of Lucius’ ‘Something About You’ video. Have a watch , and scroll down to check out the Brooklyn band’s upcoming European tour dates.