Second Nature

Second Nature

Lucius co-founders Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig are used to adapting to change. That's partly born of necessity: In recent years, Laessig had her first child, while Wolfe and Lucius multi-instrumentalist Dan Molad divorced. But as in-demand backing vocalists for disparate acts such as Roger Waters, Harry Styles, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, and Sheryl Crow, the Los Angeles-based pair have tackled eclectic styles, alternating between tender folk, honey-rich soul, and rock belting. All of these experiences influence Second Nature, the first Lucius studio album since 2016's Good Grief. The collection touches on numerous genres: shimmering '80s pop ("LSD"), dance-floor-ready disco ("Next to Normal"), and soulful folk ("The Man I'll Never Find"). Crow even returns the backing-vocalist favor, appearing alongside album co-producer Brandi Carlile on the funky "Dance Around It," a song about pushing through when love starts crumbling. That track in particular illustrates the contrast at the heart of Second Nature: Despite the upbeat music, the lyrics often reflect on life's turmoil. But while Second Nature acknowledges that change isn't always easy, the record also proves it need not be a drag.

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