Jess Wolfe, left, and Holly Laessig of Lucius. Photo by Joanna Chattman

Indie-pop band Lucius kicked off a tour last week in Minnesota celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the album “Wildewoman,” and it stops at the State Theatre on Thursday.

The original “Wildewoman” tour brought Lucius to the now-closed Port City Music Hall in December of 2013, and the band’s been back here a number of times since then for shows at the State Theatre.

Lucius comprises Jess Wolfe (vocals, keys), Holly Laessig (vocals, keys), Dan Molad (drums) and Peter Lalish (guitar). Wolfe and Laessig met as students at Berklee College of Music in Boston and graduated in 2007. Molad and Lalish graduated from Berklee a few years earlier, though they didn’t meet Wolfe and Laessig until they were all living in New York City.

Wolfe and Laessig bought homes in the Los Angeles area in 2015, and the band has been California-based since then.

Lucius gets its unique sound from the way the voices of Wolfe and Laessig, who sing together on every track, merge into an amalgamation of aural bliss that transcends simple harmony. At times, the songs have a ’60s girl group throwback sound (“Turn it  Around”“Hey, Doreen”), and at others, it’s present-day vocal ecstasy (“Go Home”).

“Wildewoman” was their second studio album but their first on a record label. Their debut, “Songs from the Bromley House,” was independently released in 2009 and was out of print for many years. Since 2020, it’s been available digitally, exclusively on the Lucius Bandcamp page.


Cover of the Lucius “Wildewoman” album. “Ice Cream (1964) by Evelyne Axell

“Wildewoman,” its name a nod to female empowerment, was released in the fall of 2013 on the Mom + Pop label and received glowing reviews.

Lucius has had a remarkable career since forming in 2007, beyond their well-received albums. Wolfe and Laessig toured as backing vocalists for Roger Waters and took part in Joni Mitchell’s historic Joni Jam at Newport Folk Festival in 2022.

For the moment, however, the focus is on celebrating “Wildewoman.”

I spoke with Wolfe and Laessig via Zoom video about “Wildewoman,” their continued passion for costumes and the new music they have coming.

“I think the main thing that sticks out for me is the freedom of a first record and the lack of preciousness and pressure or expectation because you’re just making something,” Wolfe said about the most memorable aspect of recording the album. “Everything is new and everything is exciting in a way that can never happen again after your first record.”

The first time Wolfe and Laessing heard themselves on the radio was in a grocery store parking lot while on a writing retreat in upstate New York. The song was “Turn It Around” from “Wildewoman.” Laessig said it was a wild moment for both of them.


The albums that have followed are “Good Grief” (2016) and “Second Nature” (2022), the latter of which was produced by Dave Cobb and Brandi Carlile and is packed with disco jams like “Next to Normal” and “Dance Around It,” along with the tearjerker ballad “The Man I’ll Never Find.”

Toward the end of 2023, the single “Stranger Danger” was released. It’s a dreamy, slow-tempo tune with an understated yet lavish feel to it that picks up momentum halfway through and morphs into an upbeat head-bobber.

Wolfe said that fans are in for a surprise with the next batch of music, all of which should be released within the next year or so.

“We do have two nearly complete records, one that we’ve been working on for many, many years that is very sort of orchestral and lush and wild.”

Once that’s out, Lucius is, in a sense, going back into the vaults.

“The record after that has been actually finished for many years. We’ve kind of just been waiting for the right moment, because it isn’t a record that you just put on at a barbecue. It’s a deep dive. And we’re really excited about it, it’s very theatrical and exciting and unlike anything we’ve ever done,” said Wolfe.

You can’t watch a Lucius video or attend one of their shows without noticing that Wolfe and Laessig always wear matching outfits, often with a mod, retro theme. Although the music is the main draw, the costumes add a visual element that’s synonymous with who Lucius is.

Laessig said that wearing the costumes helps to put her and Wolfe into a specific headspace, like donning a superhero outfit. “Suddenly you’re less aware of yourself on stage, and it connects us … We’re both very visual people, so I think it brings it all together. ”

Wolfe agreed.

“When you look at us on stage, you see us as one, and that’s how we want you to hear us, so it kind of helps just cement whatever’s already there in a very colorful, sparkly way.”

Last week, Lucius shared the previously unreleased single “Housewarming,” which they described as a “little love song about all the little moments in a relationship that are scary, and tender and vulnerable, but also trusting in it because you know you are right where you should be.” The tune was penned by Wolfe and Laessig during the “Wildewoman” sessions, so they decided to time the release with the anniversary tour.

The tender tune fits right in within the fabric of “Wildewoman.” You’ll see for yourself.

Lucius with Jeff Taylor
8 p.m. Thursday. State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland, $35 in advance, $40 day of show.

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