Amid buzzy calls for attention amidst a music field of hyperpop and mixing genres, Lucinda Chua’s YIAN is a reprieve. Using a small selection of instruments, most notably Chua’s voice, the record unfolds as if you’re laying in a meadow at sunrise: Lovely and calming, but not exactly stirring enough.
The record is largely self-empowering and a call of independence for Chua. “Holding onto so much pain,” she begins “Echo”, “I won’t be your echo again”, while literal echoes of her voice surround the track. “Who are you to make me feel the way I do?” she asks on “I Promise”, a song that could be lifted out of the Super Mario Galaxy soundtrack. The album is meditative, and each song feels like it drifts away on its own accord, for better or for worse.
Its main problem, despite Chua’s affectations while singing and poetic writing, is the record’s energy — after about six songs, you start to feel that all the album’s tricks are done, and you could get the gist from there (this is largely correct). Apart from swelling strings and a sultry vocal performance on “Do You Know You Know”, it largely overuses the same instrumentation and style. “I’ve been living in the sky for too long”, she admits on “Autumn Leaves Don’t Come”, which is an apt comparison to the album — breathy, peaceful, and calm. But in its carefully curated delicateness, YIAN’s ingenuity is stifled.
Lucinda Chua 2023 Tour Dates
4/7 – Berlin, Germany @ Trauma Bar and Kino
4/8 – The Hague, Netherlands @ Rewire
5/9 – London, UK @ ICA
5/11 – Hove, UK @ All Saints Church
Pre-order YIAN by Lucinda Chua HERE
Looking for something new to listen to?
Sign up to our all-new newsletter for top-notch reviews, news, videos and playlists.