The four Muscovite women who make up Lucidvox took early inspiration from the LA quartet Warpaint, and there are uncanny echoes of the same spirit in the group’s first international release. Lucidvox inhabit a very different soundworld — they are louder, for one thing, and fiercer, and have a penchant for Slavic folk melodies where Warpaint’s Achilles heel was glassy disco — but you can hear the same willingness to lock into a groove and follow its implications wherever they lead.
The musicians are largely self-taught — guitarist Galla Gintovt and drummer Nadya Samodurova claim to have never touched their instruments before starting the band — but still play a sophisticated form of trance rock, rhythms that stop and start, fracture and reform, all held in place by Anna Moskvitina’s relentless basslines.
The album starts with a low sine-wave burble, like a radio transmitter coming to the boil, and Alina Evseeva singing like the opening line of an ancient hymn: “they say in life there’s a star that watches over you”. The others harmonise around her. “But I look to the skies and I cannot say/which one you are . . . ” — guitars are chiming now — “ . . . and if you even exist in a world where after light there is darkness . . . ”Then there is a maelstrom of guitar, before the storm clears and she sings into a void. Without a pause, the music plunges straight into the distorted vocals of “Knife”. “Burn me like a witch”, hollers Evseeva. “Burn me right down, right down.”
The relentlessness never relents. “Amok” speeds up by intervals throughout. “You Are” begins with bass fighting it out with piano. “Come home”, she implores, “where it’s cosy and quiet. Come home.” But darkness takes over the song, submerging the brightness of the repeating keyboard figures.
The dissociated vocals on “Body” float under fuzz-toned guitar, another hymnal melody buffeted by drum and bass. The lullaby lyrics of “Sever” play out amid wah-wah guitar. Evseeva’s wayward brother is the subject of “Runaway”, a keening lament — amid warbling electric piano and trumpet phrases — for his ending up in prison. “You are wiser than your actions”, she sings in hope. “Turned out”, she adds, almost parenthetically on “Around”, “I wasn’t even capable of losing my mind”: the tune nags and the guitars flail like insects in a jar. The closer, “Sirin”, is a glam stomp about a magic bird.
‘We Are’ is released by Glitterbeat
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