Lucinda Chua’s debut album YIAN is out now.
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“part of a wave of artists doing fascinating experimental music rooted in classical traditions” – Stereogum
“Although her voice barely raises above speaking level, it still hits like a hammer.” – Nylon
“Musically and conceptually, the record evokes hazy, in-between spaces” – Pitchfork
“Never has reverberation felts so cathartic” – MTV
YIAN (燕), means swallow in Chinese, and is part of “Siew Yian,” the name given to Chua by their 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 their 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 their 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 (‘Golden‘), Jade Ang Jackman (‘Echo‘), and Nhu Xuan Hua (cover and packshots) 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.
YIAN features the aforementioned ‘Golden,‘ ‘Echo,‘ ‘Something Other Than Years‘ featuring Yeule, and ‘An Ocean‘ and arrives ahead of Chua’s live meditational soundscape set for RESONANCE, a collaboration between her and Diasporas Now in London on March 30th, and her biggest headline show to date at London’s ICA on May 9th. Full dates below and tickets here.
Lucinda Chua Live
7th – Trauma Bar, Berlin, Germany
8th – Rewire Festival, The Hague, NL
9th – ICA, London
11th – Brighton Festival, Brighton
Lucinda Chua – YIAN
2. Meditations On A Place
3. I Promise
5. An Ocean
6. Autumn Leaves Don’t Come
8. Do You Know You Know
9. Grief Piece
10. Something Other Than Years