One to watch: Kelsey Lu

Having worked with Sampha, Solange et al, the cellist and singer-songwriter is busy creating sumptuous dream-pop of her own

Kelsey Lu is the strings svengali avant-pop performers such as Florence + the Machine and Solange have on speed dial. She played cello on the former’s recent High As Hope album and runs with the latter’s hip pack of musicians that includes Kelela, Blood Orange and Sampha, collaborating on tracks and supporting their live shows. You know that Lu has a unique star quality of her own, however, because she dances in her videos, doesn’t shave her armpits, and in interviews talks about dreaming she has a penis.

Lu, 27, has been breaking out as a solo artist for the past two years, after dropping out of North Carolina School of the Arts and moving to New York (she’s now based in LA). Her 2016 debut EP Church was recorded live, in one take, at a Catholic church in Brooklyn, and introduced her as an alt-classical alchemist: loop-pedalled cello ballads that were billowy and bluesy, pastoral and glacial, stark but with a searing voice that could shatter stained glass.

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