For Lucius, a five-piece Brooklyn-based group that spent last year playing 200 or so shows to support its acclaimed 2013 release Wildewoman, decamping to Los Angeles to write the follow-up album has been a nice repose. Band founders Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig have been taking advantage of their big backyard and spending time in their pajamas, a far cry from the identical looks they opt for onstage. This duo dresses alike to visually complement the sound of their perfectly harmonized voices. “Getting ready is a serious commitment for us,” Jess said. We met up at their recording studio and then swung by their rented bungalow in Montecito Heights, all the while chatting about their new record, the patience needed to be in a band and why they dress alike onstage.
Jess and Holly are wearing our Oversized Jean Jacket.
We’ve been in LA for two months and this is actually our third house. We have a piano here and there’s a big backyard with incredible views we can enjoy while writing. We layer ideas and then pick and choose what we want to keep. We’re constantly trying to throw spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.
When it comes to getting dressed, our style is something we’ve become known for—it’s important for us to mix it up and keep exploring new colors and shapes. We want to keep ’em guessing. Now it’s a thing that people are kind of excited to see and we have a lot of fun with it.
Jess and Holly are wearing our Overlay Romper.
Dressing alike for performances stemmed from our two voices being so in line. Many of the artists who have inspired us create a full picture with their art and deliver something that’s musically and visually connected. That was really important to us when we started. It helps create a dreamland. Now I have way more Lucius clothes than actual clothes, and when we travel our performance wardrobe is four times the size of our personal suitcases.
The main reason we work so well together isn’t because we look or sound alike; it’s because we complement each other. When a band is living in a tight space for a long time, there needs to be a lot of forgiveness. Where she is strong, I’m weak, and vice versa. When one of us is in a bad mood, we still love each other. Maybe not in that moment, but certainly in the grand scheme of things we do. I think that’s why we can appreciate each other so much.
30 MORE SECONDS WITH LUCIUS
Headliners at your dream music festival:
David Bowie, The Traveling Wilburys because then you get George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne (and probably all of our friends’ bands so that they could meet them). —Holly
Can we add Queen? —Jess
Three new musical acts to check out now:
B.C. Camplight, The Barr Brothers and Tune-Yards. —Jess & Holly
The best Instagram account to follow:
@amyh_s, a friend of ours who has the funniest baby you’ve ever seen and the most hilarious humor. —Holly
If you could be any musician’s muse, you’d pick:
Prince. He makes a really sexy, fun record and I wouldn’t mind being his muse. —Jess
A secret password to get into your concerts would be:
Porcupine. —Jess & Holly
You can catch Jess and Holly this summer when Lucius goes on tour with My Morning Jacket.
P.S. Since you’ve likely now got music and Los Angeles on the brain, enter our sweeps here for a chance to win a trip for two to Los Angeles to attend a Madewell Sessions show with singer-songwriter Kelela and a stay at our favorite boutique hotel, Palihouse West Hollywood.* Plus, the winner will receive a $1,000 Madewell gift card and two years of Spotify Premium. (June 15th is the last day to enter, but why wait? The show must go on.)
*No purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States (including D.C.), 18 years and older. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes ends June 15, 2015. To enter and for Official Rules, prize descriptions and odds disclosure, visit madewell.com/sessionssweeps.
Photography by Angi Welsch.