Boomkat Product Review:
Dead strong solo debut proper from singer-songwriter/player Lucinda Chua (Stars Of The Lid, FKA Twigs), packaging her slept-on first EP and its follow-up in a lowkey first LP of sorts.
Spotlighting both her ‘Antidotes 1’ EP, which slunk out as a self-release in 2019, and its dreamlike sibling piece ‘Antidotes 2’, Lucinda’s 4AD debut provides an ideal context for her quietly forlorn and melancholy style of songcraft. The London-based, British born Chinese-Malay artist arrives at this point from over a decade of work as a multi-instrumentalist, playing live tours with Stars of the Lid and FKA Twigs, and lending her subtleties to recordings by Helm and Sega Bodega, not to mention early work with Kranky's Felix. Versatility in check, ‘Antidotes’ properly unveils Lucinda’s talents as an accomplished solo artist, with eight songs that stake her sound somewhere between Sade and Susanna.
The first four songs come from Lucinda’s overlooked debut EP and coolly establish her quiet prowess, terraforming a delicate soundworld fleshed out with swooning cello in ‘Feel Something’ and resting on glowing Fender Rhodes chords in ‘Whatever It Takes’, while ‘Semitones’ shimmers in space between dreampop and classical. Yet, while they’re all sparingly minimalist, her songs on ‘Antidote 2’ push that envelope even farther, reducing her instrumental backdrops to even fainter outlines and settling the spotlight on her vox, which surely recall the stark vulnerability of Susanna in ‘Until I Fall’ and ache with an immanent romance on ‘Torch Song’ and the lump-in-throat swells of strings and keys in ‘Before.’