Sunday, April 21 2024

We at TIG had the privilege to have a chat with Lacus Spei about their first full length album. Lacus Spei is a husband-wife musical duo composed of David Profitt and Alice Rothman-Hicks-Profitt from New York. Last month they released their debut album ‘Alight in the Dark’, which includes 12 tracks of ambient-folk.

Alight in the Dark‘ offers 40 minutes of acoustic songs with heartfelt passion that are tailor-made for those who are searching for hope, dealing with grief or just want a romantic evening together. Comprised of impassioned vocals and solid harmonies, this husband-and-wife team proves their musical chops throughout.

The album kicks off with ‘Anything I Can Do,’ setting the tone with emotive female vocals and a fittingly intimate vibe. The delicate acoustic strumming complemented by poignant harmonies, set the album’s tone. The song’s emotional depth, underscored by subtle keys, establishes a captivating atmosphere that persists throughout the album.

Maybe So‘ and ‘Lover’s Prayer‘ continue to showcase the duo’s musical ode to love. The interplay between male and female vocals over gentle acoustic guitar melodies offers a portrait of sincere emotion. Each track feels distinct, yet seamlessly contributes to the album’s overarching narrative of love and human connection.

The dreamy melodies and the melancholic lyrics of ‘Georgia Rain‘ paints a vivid picture of a lonely man walking through the rain on a December night hoping that the new year will bring him new joy. The synergy between emotive guitar rhythms, thought-provoking lyrics, and wistful vocals creates an irresistible allure that resonates deeply.

Sparkle in My Soul‘ showcases the duo’s ability to pour raw emotion into their music. Lyrics like “I don’t know you, but my darling, you set my soul on fire” capture that instant connection when two people fall for each other at first glance. The vocals draw you into this enchanting scene.

But, it’s ‘Into the Light,’ the album’s closing track, that really packs a punch, connecting deeply with listeners on a personal level. The strings give you goosebumps as you hear the words of the chorus “falling down now, into the light.” It’s a song that speaks to anyone who’s felt heartache and loss—a feeling that’s just part of the human experience, something everyone goes through at some point in life.

The production quality is solid, giving Lacus Spei’s talents room to shine without overshadowing the genuine feel of the album. It’s not just a bunch of songs; it’s a cohesive story that dives into the complexities of love and human connections. The captivating vocals and masterfully balanced compositions elevate it to the echelon of contenders akin to the likes of Damien Rice. Lacus Spei’s debut isn’t just about showcasing their musical skills; it’s about unraveling the layers of human existence , leaving a lasting impression on anyone who listens.

In the short period of time since the album’s release, their songs have been featured on the Music Authority podcast, XRP Radio, Amazing Radio, Howling Rock Radio, and Valley FM 89.5 and I’m sure a lot of radio stations will follow!

Luckily, we also got the chance to ask them some questions about their name, their music and of course about their album.

What’s the story behind your name?

Alice: It was David’s idea for our band name back in 2019, when we started collaborating on songs on BandLab; he simply created a band with that name, and I thought it was really cool, so I went with it! I then looked it up and saw that it’s a lunar mare and is Latin for ‘lake of hope’ (which I know, being a big Latin nerd — we had had conversations about Latin before this, so perhaps that inspired David’s choice?). Anyway, that has been our band name ever since, and I love it.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?

Alice: I would describe it as ambient-folk, with classical elements. We want to create a sound that’s warm, gentle, and honest, and an ambience which surrounds you so that you can drift away while you listen.

Which musicians or bands have influenced your style the most?

Alice: For us collectively, groups like the Magnetic North and Nickel Creek have been an influence on the type of sound we’re looking to create. For me personally, as a singer, I’m influenced by Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Allison Krauss, anyone with that type of vocal sound. I also love the harmony sounds of Simon & Garfunkel and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, so that was in my head while creating backing vocals.

David: For me Neil Finn, John Martyn, Tom Waits, and Ryan Adams.

What’s the theme of ‘Into the light’ and how does it relate to the album ‘Alight in the dark’?

David: ‘Into the Light’ was a song I wrote about my sister, one of the funniest people in the world. Sadly she passed away in 2010 and had a rough life. It was one of those songs that wrote itself. I found writing this song to be cathartic, put a lot of personal pain away also. That was 9 years later, in 2019. The idea was to create an album with the themes of love, loss and most things that are hugely significant in life, like change, getting older and maybe a little wiser. The light shining on the darker or sad parts of our lives, brings hope. Music should always be a safe place.

You’re a husband and wife duo. How did it all start for you guys?

Alice: We met on BandLab; I think we both felt immediately connected to one another when we heard one another’s voices and music; I know I felt drawn to David from the honesty of his voice, because I felt like he was singing directly to me. David sent me a message to suggest that I cover the Maria McKee song ‘A Good Heart,’ and then we just started talking about anything and everything from there, and that was that! The first collaboration we did was on Donovan’s ‘Catch the Wind,’ and we kept collaborating and falling in love from there. It still feels like a huge blessing to be able to create music together in the same room rather than from opposite sides of the Atlantic!

David: I heard Alice singing and was blown away. We would collaborate on cover songs together, from opposite sides of the pond. Alice was in New York, While I was in England. We then fell in love, got married and the rest is history!

Did you have a background in music before you found each other?

David: I’ve been playing and singing since I was about 16-17, I just decided I needed to play the guitar. I’d always been around music growing up, and singing along! Luckily My dad had so many records, I’d play them whilst reading the lyrics on the covers and inserts or singing into a tape recorder over the record. It was home recording without the equipment we have today. In later years, using a chord finder my cousin gave me, I started playing guitar. Most of the learner’s books had songs I didn’t want to play, but then I found out through practice I could pick up most songs just by ear.

Alice:  I started taking singing lessons around the age of 10 and trained classically as a child and teenager and into my 20s, singing mainly classical pieces and legit musical theater. I got really into folk music in college and started learning folk songs and accompanying myself (very slowly) on the keyboard and/or guitar, and then kept going intermittently from there. I sang in the ensemble of some small opera companies in NYC, and sang in a few plays with music or musicals. I think the whole time, I really was yearning to create the type of music that we’re making now, but I was intimidated by the idea of it and wasn’t sure where to start!

How do you handle creative disagreements?

David: We don’t really have them, we’re continually bouncing off each other for ideas and feelings. Neither of us is in any way ego driven: music is not a competition, we just play. Musical respect, that’s what it boils down to.

Alice: For my part, I trust David’s judgment in most things, so if he has an idea or a suggestion, I’m happy to trust his instincts. If anything, we might get frustrated with ourselves at times, or overwhelmed with doubt/anxiety, but I don’t think we’ve ever had a creative disagreement with one another.

Can you walk us through your songwriting process?

Alice: Most of the songs on this album started with a guitar riff or little tune that David made up and we recorded. Then I would sit and listen and write down some rudimentary lyrics for it, and then we would come back together, make some tweaks, often add a bridge, change some things around, and keep tweaking as needed. But, for some of them (e.g. ‘Springtime Invitation’), we wrote the lyrics together while composing a melody; for some of them (‘Into the Light,’ ‘Georgia Rain’) David wrote lyrics on his own while composing the song….

What’s the most surprising or unexpected inspiration for one of your songs?

David: Being able to use little parts of other songs we’ve written, then merging them and creating a brand new song. This was the way we wrote ‘Don’t You Cry.’

Alice: ‘Don’t You Cry’ probably has the most interesting story, because it got written in pieces, months apart — then I had an idea for how we could stitch those pieces together into more of a full song, and then months after that, we revisited the song and finished it together. We also recently wrote a song based on observations that David wrote down over a period of months, while walking around our neighborhood!

David and Alice look forward to continuing to make music that they hope will bring a little extra love, light, and gentleness into the world. And we’re at TIG are excited to see what this amazing duo has to offer in the future.

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Review

Summary

Lacus Spei’s debut album, ‘Alight in the Dark,’ is a gem. Featuring 12-acoustic tracks that explore love, loss, and hope, it’s a must-listen for folk music, ambient folk, and acoustic guitar enthusiasts. The mesmerising vocals of this husband and wife duo add a special charm, making each song a heartfelt experience. Highly recommended!
90%
outstanding

Rating

song quality
vocal performances
Instrumentation
Lyrics
Production
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About Author

Gee Nelson

Gee Nelson has been a musician, producer and songwriter since the '90’s. Besides music Gee loves reading, writing, watching British sitcoms and playing board games. His biggest influences are Green Day, Nirvana, Offspring and Eels. His favourite genre is 90’s and early 00’s (indie) rock.

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