Boomkat Product Review:
Artist and occasional cellist for FKA Twigs, Stars of the Lid, Helm and Sega Bodega; Lucinda Chua chases her breakthru solo EPs with a masterful debut LP of solo piano torch songs gilded with chamber string arrangements and Susanna-like vox.
“Lucinda Chua is a singer, songwriter, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist based in South London. Primarily using her voice, a cello, and an array of effects units, Chua writes ambient pop songs that are intimate, atmospheric, and totally enchanting.
Born in London and raised in Milton Keynes, Chua has English, Malaysian and ancestral Chinese roots. Having learned music by ear from the age of three using the Suzuki method (whereby young children are taught music in the same way they would a native language), Chua regards music as a natural form of non-verbal self-expression.
YIAN (燕), means swallow in Chinese, and is part of “Siew Yian,” the name given to Chua by her parents to preserve her connection with her Chinese heritage. Just as the migratory songbird lives between places, so did Chua, the artist living in the in-between of the English, Malaysian and Chinese cultures that make up her heritage. In the absence of Mandarin as a mother tongue, music became a way to express the parts of herself that couldn’t be described in words; YIAN emerged as a way to heal.
A deeply introspective and fully realized vessel of creative expression (Chua self-produced and engineered eight of the ten tracks), YIAN emerges as less an album than a worldview, a commitment to learning and uncovering one’s own selfhood honed over Chua’s lifelong reconciliation with her own personal history and identity.
Through this process she found new language through which to express her experiences, language which lay in the practices she developed and the creative community with whom she built solidarity along the process: co-authoring visual identities with main collaborators Tash Tung, Jade Ang Jackman and Nhu Xuan Hua and set designers Lydia Chan, Jonquil Lawrence and Erin Tse. Chua also constructed the album’s physical language through dance with movement directors Chantel Foo and Duane Nasis, this expression shown most vividly through the short film made for 'Echo’.”