Lucibel Crater Press Reviews

The Curious Harmonies of Lucibel Crater

(This article originally appears in Urban Magazine. English translation by Valentina Angeloni)

Something like Bjork and maybe like White Stripes; But the truth is that their sound is unique and not easy to label, to the extent that even Lou Reed has fallen in love with it.

For a few years music in Brooklyn has traveled in the fast lane. While the whole music world walks on eggshells worrying about making an irreparable false step, in this NYC borough artists and bands push the accelerator violently, every year producing one album that is years ahead of everything the seven notes market is offering.

Matisyahu, School of Seven Bells, My Brightest Diamond, Sufjan Stevens: these are only some among the many names that enliven the scene beyond the East River, which today grows richer with a new, “reckless” band. They’re called Lucibel Crater and talking about them, music wise, you can venture the adjective “unpredictable”: Cocorosie, Björk and White Stripes, but also nu-jazz atmospheres, ambient expansions and psychedelic moments. Listening to Lucibel one bounces like the little ball in an acid colored pinball machine; pushed and rebounded by Sarth Calhoun’s synths, Leah Coloff’s cello and Paul Chuffo’s rhythmic patterns.


There are no rules, there’s no logic, just music and the purest emotions. These are the ingredients in The Family Album, the very first album for this band whose schizoid sound conquered the heart of a Brooklynite par excellence, his majesty, Lou Reed. On top of giving the band advice on their route to success, in fact, the leader of the never-missed-enough Velvet Underground has chosen to be physically present at their musical debut, the unmistakable voice of his guitar standing out in The Family Album track “Threadbare Funeral”.

Lucibel Crater Urban Magazine Review

Review Courtesy of Urban Magazine

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Listening to your album one is amazed by the absolutely unpredictable sound diversity: each is song is different from all the others (in genre and style). Is there any Arianna’s thread to link the songs of your first album? If so, what is it?

Leah: “Well, there’s the cello in every track…” (she laughs)
Sarth: “I think the common ground is the attention to sound. It has to be absolutely
new. Every song ought to be like a photograph (their first album name is in fact The Family Album). Usually, in a family album, every shot is different from one another. That is why our songs have titles such as 'standing in front of her new/used turquoise station wagon' or 'next of kin.' They’re all photo titles”.

What is The Family Album talking about?

Leah: “Through the family theme we intended to talk about the American Life. When we wrote the songs we were permeated with disenchantment and bitterness. The song 'Threadbare Funeral', for example, talks about a woman living alone in the prairie for years who finally looks for someone to rescue her from her abandoned condition. This has been a common “political” thought, lately, as people in the US have felt really abandoned … “Into the Bushes” is a sarcastic glance onto what could happen if we remained anchored to our ideas as Bush did in the past years. We would go on living in ignorance, thinking that the earth is flat. We would not be able to look at our past in order to create a different future. Ideas, that’s the glue, our common ground”.

How did your collaboration with Lou Reed begin?

Sarth: “We came to know him due to our (Lou’s and mine) common passion for Chen Taiji. We both studied with the same teacher, Master Ren Guang Yi, and we have collaborated in composing parts of the soundtracks for some taiji and meditation dvds.
That’s how it all began.

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And how was to work with him?

Sarth: “Exciting. (Sarth is in the Lou Reed trio MM3). To observe his attention to sound detail was a real turning point for me. It’s just incredible when you see how preparation, attention and research can open highways to inspiration. Inspiration, that’s the word I associate to Lou… he inspired me with his way of creating. He’s able to do huge things and always puts soul and humanity into them.”

Imagine you could chose for your next album another guest star. Who would it be?

Sarth: “Beck, but only if the producer was Tom Waits”.

Your music would be the perfect soundtrack for…

Paul: “Sunrise by F.W. Murnau; Metropolis by Fritz Lang; Battlestar Galactica”

Imagine you are in an empty room. Outside your music is drawing a landscape. What would you see looking out of the window?
Paul: “Water all around with mechanical islands floating on it. On every island there would be one city with its own identity”.

How would you describe Brooklyn from a musical point of view?

Leah: “Eclectic. Diversified.”
Sarth: “A friend of mine once said that if you live in Brooklyn and you do music, it is impossible not to put some hip hop in it. Actually cars here go around with subwoofers on all the time, even when you sleep… I mean, it sneaks into your subconscious, there is nothing to do…” -- Simone Tempia


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Alll photos by Mark McGauley.

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