feature: singer-songwriter kelsey lu makes minimalist classical flavored r&b. #soundcheck

March 14, 2014

Armed with a laptop, a cello, a guitar, and a voice, singer-songwriter Kelsey Lu makes R&B loaded with classical flourishes. Like a stripped down DIY Marques Toliver, the few original tracks she’s posted so far showcase her stunning voice and inventive arrangements. If you’re not familiar with Kelsey Lu yet, check her out. She’ll be taking over soon.

By Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor

“Run” floats around a simple electric piano riff, the ambient noise of a bus leaving simply underscoring the song’s story without intruding. The bittersweet story of a woman leaving her man for a better life is told more through Kelsey Lu’s expressive voice than the lyrics. The cellos build and wash over the song, creating a perfect mix of melancholy and hope. On “Waiting,” she rides a minimal almost trip-hop beat. “So fuck you stars, and curse you moon / My baby left me all alone / And now I’m sitting here, looking like a goddamn fool” she sings before melting cellos take over. With a less ensnaring voice, the 4 measure loop that backs the song might feel repetitive, but Kelsey Lu uses minimalist arrangements as a spring board for the infinite variation in her voice.