“Neighbors” from NUDES (2018) by Lucius
I love it I love it I love it!!!
I actually got the chance to hear Lucius play this song live this past New Year’s Eve and was a little upset when someone standing next to me somehow knew every word, while I was only hearing the song for the first time. I guess I’ve been slacking a little on the fangirl front. It is true that my days of panning for Lucius gold on the internet are over, which means I’m a lot less likely to stumble upon as yet un(officially)released material. But that’s only because their growing success has made their music a lot more easily accessible, and I’m not really going to complain about that.
I was looking for somebody who could shake me.
Anyway, what I really love about this song is the lead guitar part, which has a psychedelic quality that puts me square in the purple-hazy sixties. I mean, structurally, I realize that this song is well within the realm of today’s acoustic folk/pop/ genres (I don’t think “structure” is really a word most would even use in describing the meandering melodies and free-form instrumental solos that marked true ’60s psychedelic music). Even so, there’s something about the slight graininess of the track and the twang in the strings that is a little reminiscent of some iconic 1960s hits (think “White Rabbit“).
Speaking of Jefferson Airplane, I can kind of hear a little bit of Grace Slick in the combination of Jess’s soulful belt and Holly’s clear-as-a-bell tone. The combined effect of their voices is not unlike the straightforward powerhouse vocal Grace Slick is known for, especially in the way they kind of slide down between the B and A notes you hear on the words “are ” and “maybe“ in the last verse (as in, “who your neighbors really are. May-be they’ll save me”).
OK, so maybe my initial retro associations with this song had more to do with the stripped back, acoustic, recorded-in-one-sitting style of the track than with actual musical similarities. At any rate, I’d say these few elements, combined with the trippy visual alterations to the ladies of Lucius’ faces in the lyric video above are enough to make the case for my psychedelia hypothesis (they have been on tour with Roger Waters this past year, so it’s not like it’s that huge of a leap).
I can easily see this song playing over a scene in an Aquarius-like period drama or something, with the camera panning over a California desert, eventually coming to settle on a VW bus with some burnt out hippie in the back. And then somehow Charles Manson is there, and only the audience knows what that unfortunate hippie in the car has gotten him (or more likely her) self into, but we still sympathize because all they were trying to do by joining a murder cult was escape the glazed-over conveyor belt of 1950s decorum.
Am I crazy here? (Probably.)
Whatever. You can pre-order NUDES here, if you’re into that sort of thing 😉