I’m going to put this up front, “Lucien” is the best thing that Young Magic has conceived. Young Magic songs are generally great, but this song is tantalizing. From the first listen, it took my breath away. Where other songs have touched upon the ethnicity of singer Melati Melay’s hometown of Jakarta, this song builds a gentle homage to it while giving out futurist vibes that never get past a glowing dim light. And Still Life, their upcoming release, due out May 13 on Carpark Records, is built around a dedication to her home country of Indonesia.
I have listened to this song over and over again, and each time I feel like I am being seduced. The beauty in Melay’s voice, practically whispering in your ear, is transcendental. The song is like retreating into the solitude of divinity. If the other songs on the album are anything like “Julien,” Still Life will rank among the best albums of 2016.
After losing her father in 2015, she returned to the island of Java to reconnect with spirit and place. How this album started out was a small shack by the water, a backpack and a microphone.
“I’ve always felt torn, like some kind of hybrid existing between two worlds,” Melati says. “Born to a Catholic father and a Muslim mother, growing up bilingual, attending an international school in Jakarta where all my friends were from different countries…in a city of 30 million people where the clash between poverty and affluence is extreme.”
The fragility and mystery that is being unraveled through haunting undertones is something you need to experience for yourself.