Lucius

When they wrote their self-titled EP, Lucius was living in an old victorian house in Brooklyn’s Ditmas Park. They found the place on Craigslist, not knowing it was a recording studio and music school for 60 years prior. There were so many treasures that had been left behind – like the 100 year old Steinway piano that would nurture their writing habits. The four-story musical fortress also housed 8 other musician friends and would soon open their doors to bandmates, Danny Molad and Peter Lalish and later, Andrew Burri.
Holly and Jess have had a relationship filled with coincidences. Their lives are uniquely in sync. “When we were ready to make our record we felt it was imperative that the recording reflect that synergy. None of us were concerned with trying to sound like ‘a band’, we just wanted to create a unique environment for each song to sit in.” Much of their record is about these unique experiences, told from the same perspective, at the same time, with the same sentiment. Two voices as one.

Lucius has been described by the New York Times as having “luscious, luminous, lilting lullabies”, by Seventeen Magazine as “alluring and magnetic” and by NPR as " a fabulous band playing such infectious pop songs". Their self-titled debut EP was recorded and produced in the Ditmas Park house where the band was formed. Their full length album is due for release Autumn 2013.

Naming their sophomore album Developer is a bold move for the still-young band Social Studies. But it is as apt a descriptor as you're likely to find for how the sound of this San Francisco-based five-piece has flourished, matured, and, yes, developed over the past two years.

The band - led by Natalia Rogovin (vocals, keys) and Michael Jirkovsky (drums), who were joined in 2009 by bassist Jesse Hudson and guitarist Tom Smith and this year by second guitarist Ben McClintock - has already won a loyal fan base thanks to their arch take on modernist pop as heard on 2010 release Wind Up Wooden Heart. Social Studies has become a force to be reckoned with in concert as well, transfixing audiences at the CMJ Music Festival, SXSW, and Noise Pop, and bringing their unique energy and spirit to stages shared with TuneYards, Wye Oak, Lotus Plaza, Thee Oh Sees, Dodos, Ramona Falls and many more.

Now, on their new album, the goal was to strip things down to the basics, straighten out some of the more jagged lines of their previous work, and put the focus more on texture and mood. "Before, we were rebellious. We fucked with things just because we wanted to push limits and boundaries," says Rogovin. "Developer is a more adult record. We tried to explore sounds and draw out parts to write more moving and focused songs."

They enlisted the able ears and hands of engineer and co-producer Eli Crews (Tune-Yards, Deerhoof, Thao & Mirah) who helped hone this new barebones attack as well as reflecting the excitement of their stage show. On Developer, all the pieces have come together perfectly. The clear-eyed production helps bring out the dark, sexy heart of these ruminations on life, love, pain, and pleasure. The themes of the album are as complex as the songs are streamlined. "The album is about art, but it's also a cinematic exploration of those turning points in life that you didn't see coming and didn't realize were important until much later," says Rogovin.

Lead single "Terracur" calls the bluff of a headstrong friend threatening to leave, while "Away For the Weekend" turns the tables to justify a departure: “Ever discover another that makes you feel good, you always feel right/ the notion of fleeing the corporeal being/Just run to your other life.”

In Developer, Social Studies has succeeded in evoking a set of feelings and emotions that will linger with listeners long after the last notes have faded away. Warm, cold, or downright chilling, there is a connection between the personal and universal that the band taps into through a set of fearless and gripping songs.

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Brick & Mortar Music Hall

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Lucius with Social Studies

Thursday, August 29 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM at Brick & Mortar Music Hall

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