The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Impossible Syllables: Lucrecia Dalt’s Favourite Albums
Matthew Neale , September 2nd, 2020 08:21

In this week's Baker's Dozen, Lucrecia Dalt speaks to Matthew Neale about her love of jazz, crafting an alter-ego for her new record, and the delimiting forces of language

"You know that song by Terence Trent D'Arby, 'Sign Your Name'?" The voice emanating from my laptop starts singing the chorus, and I'm instantly transported back to childhood car journeys, piecing together decontextualised fragments of what adult love might feel like from androgynous 1980s pop stars. "In my own way, I've weirdly tried to copy the vibe of that song – or at least, copy it in an abstract way. How can I make a groovy rhythm in a way that's zero groovy?"

While Lucrecia Dalt's body of work doesn't exist in a vacuum, it's also not the kind of art that invites obvious comparisons. Her latest record, No Era sólida, is concerned with the interstitial zones between opaque and ethereal, tangible and lost, the silence of corridors and the howl of closed spaces. Sonically, it's an exercise in pulse rather than rhythm in the strict sense, scattered with bursts of glossolalia.

The voice remains front and centre, inspired by Gloria Anzaldua's poem Interface and Clarice Lispector's novel A Breath of Life, among others – works that regard the voice as an instrument, and look at the stories we might tell through it. Sometimes language even gets in the way. "If I was to introduce lyrics, there was going to be a lot of conflict, not only what language do I have – is it Spanish? Is it English? Is it another language that I've learned?" Dalt asks. "Why do I have to enforce this emotional delivery into another language, when everything is working in this compilation of impossible syllables that make the piece what it is?"

No era sólida is released via RVNG Intl. on September 11, 2020. Click the image of Lucretia below to begin reading her Baker's Dozen selections