12 May 1991 (age 30)
Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, United States
North Carolina-born cellist and vocalist Kelsey Lu recorded their debut EP live at a church in Brooklyn with a loop pedal, and it’s one of the most startling and evocative pieces of music you’ll hear all year. Lu was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and fled home at 18 to escape their strict upbringing, so their choice of location, the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Family, is in a way a subverted act of rebellion. A suite of songs that push and pummel gospel music into experimental new places, the album opens with ‘Dreams’ – Lu’s voice as thick as molasses as it slides up and down the scale, quavering and punctuating the stillness with decorative trills – glides through ‘Time’ with their falsetto in tow, before ending on the plaintive ‘Visions of Old’. Their instruments may trade stages on occasion, but mostly they are symbiotic: an extension of Kelsey Lu, an extension of them and everything they have been – and no doubt still want to become. ACW
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