For years, the state of Indiana has had no problems producing talent behind closed doors. Omar Apollo, Lil Aaron, Midwxst, Freddie Gibbs, and that one boy band Jackson 5 all claim the state on the banks of the Wabash as their origin. And now, the Hoosier state may be presenting us with its next legitimate star, and their name is Lucas Lex. To this point, Lucas has accrued just under half a million listeners across Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud, and more, and all that support has come from very strong grassroots support. Lucas has yet to see their name in a major playlist, and the only blog post that can be found online is a Lyrical Lemonade post from June of 2019. What is even more remarkable, than impressive streaming numbers, is the fact that Lucas hasn’t released an original song since September of 2020, with their debut project Spider... until today.
“CASTLE” is a 7 song EP that finds Lucas Lex further developing the foundation they set with 2020’s Spider, but with a lot more grit and a sound reminiscent of early 2000s New York-rock: “GATES”, the second single off of the EP with PC Music‘s Astra King, features a breakdown and accompanying guitar riff that sounds like it’s straight out of the Room on Fire demos (oddly enough, Lucas claims they didn’t really get into The Strokes until they finished this project). With only 2 guest verses on the entire project (the aforementioned “GATES” with Astra, and “CRAWLER” featuring fellow Hoosier jfled), Lex proves that they can hold their own over an entire body of work without having to lean into much other than their voice and savviness for harrowingly tantalizing production. Sound aside, the project features incredible strong prowess from a poetic perspective. There’s a lot of hopelessness, amidst Lex’s gift for composition, that spills out lyrically,
“Can I ever get past what I hate? Can I tear the walls that I create? Maybe I can try, but how far will I go? Always getting caught in the things I don’t know. Maybe I will never get ahead / living through the habits that I dread. Waking up the silence floods my head. Every day’s a constant aim to dread. Wishing I could make this life form end. Wishing I could make this life form end..”Lucas Lex – MEND
Overall, “CASTLE” is a phenomenal sophomore project, in which every piece fits together perfectly. Hyperpop-fanatics may be in for a disappointment, Lucas steers as clear from the style as possible while incorporating subtle production arrangements that are clearly influenced from the burgeoning scene. You’ll hear the influences of Johann Sebastian Bach and Julian Casablancas on the EP than you’ll hear that of AG Cook, Laura Les, or any of Lucas’s other widely successful contemporaries.
Lex has been teasing a project titled “sonnet 30”, under the alias j5mes, while going through promo for CASTLE, but it was pushed back in hopes of “filling the project and the ethos of j5mes out more”. Lucas Lex can be found on Twitter and Instagram for those wanting to keep in touch for future releases from Lex, j5mes, and more.