Antidotes 1 (ep)
As a jobbing cellist (Stars of the Lid, FKA Twigs) and vocalist (Felix) Lucinda Chua has already helped to create many magical musical moments – but her debut solo EP is a gorgeous harnessing of fragility; these aren’t songs as much as aural photographs – everything frozen, framed correctly and the glacial drift and waft of her primary instruments working like a final varnish across (there’s no surprise then that she has a background in photography).
On the bookending tracks, Feel Something and Somebody Who it’s like Joan As Police Woman if the music was slowed, stretched but the vocal remained in real time.
The other touchstone for me is Tracey Thorn – in that these fictive narratives are made to sound so real; so honest and of the soul, from the heart. At times Chua is singing almost fairytale-type scenarios but it feels like a warmer, more tangible Sigur Ros rather than synthetic or inauthentic.
When you do hear the cello most (Semitones) it’s almost filmic – you could imagine this music framing snowy backdrops, providing further atmosphere to wintery landscapes but always with a human warmth, the beating of the heart, the pumping of blood.
There are only four songs here – this is just 16 minutes of music. But a whole world opens up. It’s lovely. It feels safe and rich and kind. There’s an exploration of deep humanity somewhere in the traces of sounds here. And it’s thrilling to feel connected to, to be a part of – amazing music. If there’s more (and soon) it will be welcomed. If this is all we ever hear from Chua on her own it’s already more than enough.