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"Alu "Lobotomy Sessions" Review"

Alu may well be the most enigmatic performer in popular music. Stylistically similar to Canada's Sarah Slean, Alu is like Tori Amos without filters. Alu constructs gorgeous gothic cabaret/rock creations that are woven together by the beautiful silver and golden threads of her voice. Alu has developed a small but highly devoted following with her debut album, Infomercial Gasmask and has had songs featured in the movies Juncture and Clive Barkers The Midnight Meat Train. 2008 sees the release of Alu's 2nd album, Lobotomy Sessions. It has been a long time since an album so beautifully twisted and unique has hit the popular music scene.

Lobotomy Sessions opens with Buzzin' In My Brain, an ethereal bit of musical psychosis that is as intriguing as it is disturbing. Alu fills every note with a dark gothic charm that barely hides the wonderful madness that drives her. Casket Salesman portrays a morbidly colored relationship that is an apt parallel for willing suffocation. Circus Cosmos is Alu's ethereally expansive madness at its best and brightest; A haunting funhouse waltz in grayscale that stands in stark contrast to the lurid colors in Alu's tremulous alto.

Recluse opens with a sitar and Bedouin rhythms that meld into a gorgeous orchestral arrangement. The lost narrator in this tune is trapped within her own inner walls with no way out. The plaintive wails of her soul are the lyrics and melody set within a neo-baroque cocoon. Alu turns 180 degrees for The Metrosexuals, a jaunty cabaret piece that Nellie McKay would be proud of. Other highlights here include Black Cloud, Aahhh, and the devastatingly personal and beautiful Amy. The stilted orchestra in Martian Rendezvous is worth hearing, and Luna is a startlingly beautiful orchestral movement with lyrics.

Alu is one of a kind, combining Sarah Slean's penchant for dark, European influenced gothic themes and genius with the out of this world musical leanings of a Tori Amos. Lobotomy Sessions will be a little out in left field for some readers, but if you can suspend disbelief for just a few minutes you'll forget what a strange new world Alu offers in awe of its utter and haunting beauty. I guarantee you haven't experienced anything quite like this. A Wildy's World Certified Desert Island Disc it is. That's an understatement.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)
- Wildy's World

"Alu "Lobotomy Sessions" Review"

The Dirty Dozen – Twelve New Discs You Need (December 2008)

Alu – Lobotomy Sessions

Alu is the girl-next-door. That is, if your house is surrounded by a mental hospital, a cemetery and a drive-in that shows only vintage cartoons. The CD is packed with quirky (an understatement) pop a la early Kate Bush. Tracks include “Casket Salesman,” “Martian Rendezvous” and “The Metrosexuals.” - Hustler

"Alu Echoes Radio Feature and Interview"

Alu's Cosmic Cabaret

The latest singer to carry the torch of Kate Bush into new terrain is named Alu

Ziggy Stardust came from Mars, Sun Ra came from Saturn. Alu isn’t from another planet, but sometimes she wants to be.

Alu: "No, not really happy with Earth. I'm sometimes not happy with the humans here. I think I’ve always felt like a bit of an outcast. I think we all kind of want to go to that place where our family is, or the people who understand and support us are, and that’s kind of Mars to me."

You can hear Alu’s trip to Mars on a song called “Martian Rendezvous.” It’s one of the quirky, atmospheric and theatrical songs from her sophomore album, Lobotomy Sessions.

That seems like it might be an ironic punk title or the follow-up to Spinal Tap’s Intravenous De Milo. But although her song “Recluse” appears in the new Clive Barker film, The Midnight Meat Train, Alu isn’t a morose Goth or raving headbanger. For the Los Angeles-raised singer, Lobotomy Sessions is more like therapy.

Alu: "It is very healing for me and every song is very healing for me. They help me out a lot."

Lobotomy Sessions doesn’t remove part of Alu’s head, but it does let us see the world inside it on songs like “Buzzin’ in My Brain.” It’s a spiritual and musical descendent of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross’s “Twisted,” via Joni Mitchell.

Alu: "Buzzin’ in My Brain is kind of about my relationship with music and creation and insanity, you know, because the process is kind of maddening, so it’s not directly about therapy, but it is in a way because it’s about my form of therapy which is creating."

She’s a child of Hollywood animation artists and went to school at Cal Arts where she got the voice lessons that help set her apart. She’s been compared to Bjork and Tori Amos, cabaret and The Addams Family. But rarely have those elements come together with the haunting, and haunted charm you hear on the three ring psychosis of her song, “Circus Cosmos.”

Alu is the latest in a string of idiosyncratic, introspective and provocative singers following in the tradition of Kate Bush. It’s a tradition that includes Happy Rhodes, Tori Amos, and Bjork. On her new CD Lobotomy Sessions, Alu creates yet another new and inventive iteration of that muse.

- Echoes Radio: An Echoes Location

"Alu "Lobotomy Sessions" Review"

Continuing to showcase her musical prowess, Alu returns to us with a lovely second album, Lobotomy Sessions. Ten theatrical tracks complete the collection, spanning multiple genres, to create a delightfully strange audio journey.

Dark and goth, playful and light, classical and electronic -- the styles often contradict one another, yet still piece perfectly together as a whole.

There's no question this album is bizarre, deep, and whimsical -- and passionately so. Alu intrigues easily, and doesn't need flashy instrumentals to do so. The melodies are soft, not boring, adding interesting backdrops for her beautiful voice, which tells a story with every breath. "Buzzin' in My Brain", "Circus Cosmos", "Recluse", and "Black Cloud" especially are songs surely fit for an exotic theatre production. Uniquely spellbounding, Alu has an entrancing quality that refuses to be ignored.

- Aced Magazine

"Alu "Lobotomy Sessions" Review"

The world needs more artists like Alu, those with undeniable talent, yet with tongues firmly planted in cheek. On her sophomore effort, Lobotomy Sessions, Alu flits gracefully from wacky waltz to cabaret to jazz, rocking her synths with show tune intensity.

Her voice will naturally draw strong comparisons to Tori Amos, while her nutty lyrics set her apart as she croons about falling in love with a casket salesman, being an unrepentant recluse and battling over feminine accoutrements with a metrosexual. Think Kate Bush on a broomstick.

Lobotomy Sessions is gothic punk cabaret for those who know better than to take anything too seriously.

- Campus Circle

"Alu "Lobotomy Sessions" Review"

No offense to those with serious psychiatric conditions, but Alu's "Lobotomy Sessions" is just crazy enough to work.

The Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter's release features the components of a potential cult hit. Her vocal delivery is similar to that of Tori Amos. Her whimsy is reminiscent of early Kate Bush. Alu's black humor could compete with that of any Goth icon. And her arrangements are a musical melange of dark cabaret, electronica and exotica.

With opening track "Buzzin' in My Brain," she'll grab an audience and not let go thanks to lines such as, "I wear my straightjacket at night so someone can hold me tight."

Accompanied by an artillery of fanciful instruments including clavinet, vibraphone, melodica, sitar and slide whistle - as well as a mini chamber orchestra of violins, cello and piano - Alu charges ahead with songs with titles like "Circus Cosmos" and "Martian Rendezvous."

She sings of falling for a casket salesman (with whom she aims to "kill some time") and of an imaginary companion who, "in the dawn … leaves me on my own to face my fears."

Marimba punctuates her doomsdaying on "Aahhh," tabla surfaces in the mournful "Recluse," and on the accordion-supported "Black Cloud" she suggests, "You could be my perfect dream, and I could be your black cloud." But still, it's (mostly) all in fun, made clear on "The Metrosexuals," which ends with, "Baby if you save me, you can wear the panties/You know you want to."

Regardless of your feeling on wearing panties, "Lobotomy Sessions" is a semi-brainy good time.

- Knox News

"Alu "Infomercial Gasmask" Awards & Press Quotes"


-One of Music Connection’s top 15 reviewed albums of 2005.'s Best Album of 2004.

-Nominated for best record of 2004 by

-One of the top 15 independently released CDs of 2004 according to Collected Sounds.

-An Editor's Pick and a Top Seller on

-An Editor's Pick in Smother Magazine.


"A dark shaded masterpiece"

"ALU is a master poet of genius insight. And what a voice - It is often paradoxical being both lonely and comforting. It is always intoxicating"
-touring the indies

"Infomercial Gasmask makes doom and decay sound sexy and ethereal"
-music connection magazine

"Shades of Portishead at their peak and Tricky's urban paranoia...A chilling echo of our times. This is a remarkable and accomplished debut" -luna kafe e-zine

"Like your own voice singing to you in your most obscure dreams…A kind of apocalypse where even desperation and desolation are beautiful." -inanna naked

"Alu beautifully reflects the darker side of modern metropolitan life" mean street magazine

"An all-expenses-paid tour through that dim twilight land between sleep and waking where beauty and fear still roam free and unshackled"

"This album is a fragile self-examination that will leave you feeling haunted by the poltergeists that surround such frantic moments. Tori Amos and Massive Attack had a baby and they call it ALU" smother magazine

"An intriguing dark vision of a dangerous modern world" -ectoguide

"Her otherwordly vocals are addictive. I want to inhabit her world, even if it's a wasteland" -the covalent bond

"An album of vocal beauty" -mediasearch

"ALU's voice has the quality of a taut rope being pulled by irresistible forces, simultaneously fraying, unraveling as it also keeps from tearing apart"
-kapowie zone

"I imagine that every time I hear this CD I will pick a new favorite. Go get this CD already...really and play it loudly. MMMmmmm....." collected sounds

- Various Publications

"Alu "Lobotomy Sessions" Review"

The title of Alu’s second album, Lobotomy Sessions, is a fairly blatant indicator that this chanteuse has no intention of entertaining comfortably familiar pop conventions in her music. Lyrics that dabble in realms of mortality, consciousness, and the supernatural effectively transport the listener, along with a unique array of foreign string and wind instruments, to a timeless, dark and magical underworld. While ubiquitously eerie and sultry, her songs are frequently carried by playful tempos and jazzy melodies. Alu’s beautiful and ethereal voice is the distinct leader of the soundtrack to this fantastical journey.

Alu’s songs find the delightful and romantic aspects in otherwise morbid territory. The uplifting “Casket Salesman” is a catchy “graveyard love” song and a perfect accompaniment to the image of a girl in a flowery dress snapping her fingers while skipping through a grassy cemetery as she she sings, “Baby won’t you bury me?” Another plea for affection, “Black Cloud” also employs gloomy lyrical incentive, although the tone of this one is less ironic. Alu’s voice echoes and weaves above a slow marching snare drum beat, low piano, and accordion.

“Buzzin’ In My Brain” is the first and easily the most well put-together song on the album. While its tap dance friendly jazz-groove rhythm is not quite paralleled by any of the following nine tracks, spicily intriguing vocals and avant-garde vivacity remain a constant. “Recluse,” with its resonant sitar and finely integrated percussion is perhaps the most chilling and tragically lovely piece. This song also includes a brief instrumental interlude whose fiery and stirring string instruments create a Middle Eastern ambiance.

Alu’s lyrics reflect a restless disenchantment with societal constraints and conformity. A yearning for some form of escape wields stylistically experimental sound and quirky subject matter, including vampires and absinthe dreams (”Circus Cosmos”), space excursions in search of extraterrestrial existence (”Martian Rendezvous”), and the conundrum of femme boys stealing lipgloss and panties (”The Metrosexuals”— a somewhat oddball swing track).

Aside from a somewhat Portishead-like vocal range and quality and the style of a lyrically darker and absurdist Fiona Apple, there are not many comparisons that can provide an accurate depiction of Alu’s music. Alu, who appropriately shares her name with a Mesopotamian demon of the night, has created a charming goth-jazz sound of her own.

- LA City Zine

"Alu "Lobotomy Sessions" Review"

Alu Falls for a Casket Salesman

If there is one form of art that has gone hand-in-hand with music over the past several decades, it would have to be film. It is the only consistent and widely recognizable art form in which audible and visual stimulation is provided simultaneously in an effort to provide satisfaction upon the viewer. Film scores have been pivotal in the success of some of the greatest films of all time, even if they merely serve to supplement the rush of emotions that the cumulative plot, cinematography, and direction provides. Composers are often given a situation in a given movie with a targeted tone or style, leaving the rest of the process up to the artistic merit of the composer. Such a method can lead to a rather fascinating question: If directors and screenwriters were given an initial collection of songs to work with, would they be able to successfully manufacture a film in a similar vein in which tone and style analogously coincide with the respective songs. It has been done before in films like “The Wall”, but such musically laden examples are usually involving of groups who can be considered a few of the most influential musicians of their particular decade. For lesser known artists who have yet to even break out, it primarily depends on whether or not the artist can produce an array of emotions that are both eclectic and consistently invigorating.

Featuring a plethora of self-proclaimed “cinematic soundscapes”, the vaguely named Alu contains all of the characteristics of an artist who would feel right at home in such a film-centric atmosphere. Her presentation constantly varies in style, never leaving the listener in a state of complete relaxation. This actually works as an advantage though, as the ceaseless sense of variation provides to prevent the listener from even having the slightest clue in what to expect next. Considering that the majority of her tracks are meticulously constructed, the enjoyable result is one of the only widespread consistencies. The most prevalent genre is that of jazz; other elements such as pop and electronica blend into the initial structures proficiently, crafting a sound that is unique to Alu but should also sound familiar to anyone who has heard a fusion of jazz and vocalized pop before. As for the actual woman behind the magic, there is little known about the elusive Alu. She is based out of Los Angeles and released a debut album, Infomercial Gasmask, in 2004. Out of the few publications that got their hands on the limited release, some went as far to hail it as a “masterpiece”, noting Alu’s lyrical prowess as perhaps the most steady indication of her impending longevity. She is known to dwell on contemporary sociological trends, often turning to the darker aspects of humanity to invoke a sense of passionate urgency. It is a style that coincides extremely well with Alu’s starkly enchanting arrangements.

In addition to getting rave reviews and comparisons to the likes of Massive Attack and Tori Amos after the release of Infomercial Gasmask, Alu’s debut also captured the attention of several filmmakers who thought that her music would be appropriate for their films; the concluding track on Infomercial Gasmask, “Last Lullaby”, appeared in the low-budget action thriller “Juncture” in 2007 and a remix of a single from Alu’s second album is set to appear in Clive Barker’s upcoming “Midnight Meat Train”. Success appears to be catching up rapidly for the budding songwriter, even if the primarily visible source of growth is in the transition from being featured in a flawed independent film to impressing Barker’s generally reputable name. One listen to Alu’s newest album, Lobotomy Sessions, should provide enough reason why one of the masters of contemporary horror and fantasy was so enamored with the artist. Set to be released on August 5th, the album plays almost like a dark comedy, tackling morbid tales in recognizable circumstances using a playful and slightly comedic tone. Regardless, Alu still has the ability to make a song sound purely dark if she opts to, a talent best evidenced by the eerie key-led progression of “Circus Cosmos” and the ghostly moans heard throughout “Aahhh”. When paired alongside fun and more lighthearted successes like “Casket Salesman” and “The Metrosexuals”. Actually, some people may consider the topics of the tracks to be the farthest thing from lightheartedness, but the comedy mainly derives from Alu’s tongue-in-cheek vocal and lyrical delivery. Oh yeah, the hooks are superb too.

Out of all the tracks on Lobotomy Sessions, it is somewhat remarkable that the fantastic “Casket Salesman” manages to be arguably the most memorable track while containing the most simplistic of instrumental arrangements on the album. Considering that the album as a whole is very impressive, it simply goes to show that Alu’s talents do not have to necessarily rely on intricate arrangements in order to satisfy. A truly unique love story in its own right, “Casket Salesman” is a track in which a future black comedy can easily derive from. Containing numerous metaphorical references that depict someone falling head over heels for an occupational symbol of death, whether one regards it as a satirical plea for suicide or just an oddly charming love story is up to the listener. “Bury me beside you and we’ll kill some time, bury me beside you and I’ll make you mine,” Alu sings over the playful urgency of an organ, sparkling bells, and clicking percussion as she crafts contagious hooks with ease in each chordal transition. It may make you grin, sob, or do a little of both, but that is simply one part of its inherent beauty. The tinge of jazz in the seductive “Buzzin’ in My Brain” makes for an interestingly captivating opener, aided by a several excellent string accompaniments courtesy of Hiro Goto. Goto and a few others provide several instrumental appearances throughout the album, but the entirety of Lobotomy Sessions was written and produced solely by Alu. Apart from being one of the most stylistically individualistic releases I have heard so far this year, Lobotomy Sessions is also one of the most consistent.

- Obscure Sound

"Alu's "Lobotomy Sessions" Awards & Press Quotes "


-Nominated for two 2009 Just Plain Folks Awards (Best Album & Best Song: "Buzzin' in my Brain")

-Echoes Radio Producer/Host John Diliberto's #1 Song of 2008 ("Circus Cosmos")

-One of Echoes Radio Producer/Host John Diliberto's Top 10 Albums of 2008

-One of Echoes 25 Essential Albums of 2008 (Staff Picks & Listeners’ Poll)

-One of Hustler's Dirty Dozen - Twelve New Discs You Need - December 2008

-One of Collected Sounds Top 20 Albums of 2008

-An Editor's Pick and Top Seller on


“Uniquely spellbounding. Alu has an entrancing quality that refuses to be ignored.” -Aced Magazine

“Think Kate Bush on a broomstick. The world needs more artists like Alu.” -Campus Circle

“Alu's second album is a stunning record that drives you from start to finish.” -Comfort Comes

“Alu’s beautiful and ethereal voice is the distinct leader of the soundtrack to this fantastical journey.” –LA City Zine

“She’s been compared to Bjork and Tori Amos, cabaret and The Addams Family. But rarely have those elements come together with the haunting, and haunted charm you hear on the three ring psychosis of her song, “Circus Cosmos.” –Echoes

“It's got a fantastical element to it that will transport you someplace quite unusual.” -Mainstream Isn’t So Bad

“Apart from being one of the most stylistically individualistic releases I have heard so far this year, Lobotomy Sessions is also one of the most consistent.” –Obscure Sound

"Alu may well be the most enigmatic performer in popular music. It has been a long time since an album so beautifully twisted and unique has hit the popular music scene" -Wildy's World
- Various Publications


Still: Echoes Living Room Concerts Volume 15: Features a Live In-Studio Performance of Alu's song "Recluse" (2009)

Clive Barker's "The Midnight Meat Train" Soundtrack (Remix of Alu's song "Recluse") (Lakeshore Records, July 2008)

ALU = "Lobotomy Sessions" (Alu Music, July 2008)

Digital Bliss Volume 1 compilation: (Alu: "Confessions to the Undertaker") (Boutique Electronique Records, 2007)

Music in A Net Volume 1 compilation (Alu: "Last Lullaby") (2006)

Novocain: Alu provides special guest back-up vocals on the track "Heartbeat" (Blue Pie, Mugatu Records, 2005)

ALU = "Infomercial Gasmask" (Alu Music, 2004)

An interview segment and a Living Room Concert with Alu were recently featured on Echoes Radio, and are currently being aired on over 150 radio stations nationwide, including NPR. Check out for more details.

ALU's music has been played on the following radio stations and podcasts:
echoes, public radio international, npr, wxpn, kucr, kzsc, kzsu, kbcs, wpkn 89.5, indie radio LA (indie 104), ckuw 95.9 FM, shopworn angel, women of substance radio, women rock, babes in boyland (france), women in music, freak radio, dave's lounge, uneon radio, sound orbit radio, the casey fallen show, idyllic music, women's radio, (germany), the lab: wreked records, mystics and strays, the red light zone, soh podcast, xpert brand network, smallbizpod, mewzikcast podcast and many, many more.



Alu is Featured on the Soundtrack to Clive Barker's "The Midnight Meat Train", NPR and Echoes Radio...

Alu's New Album "Lobotomy Sessions" is...

-Nominated for two 2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards (Best Album & Best Song: "Buzzin' in my Brain")

-Echoes Radio Producer/Host John Diliberto's #1 Song of 2008 ("Circus Cosmos")

-One of Echoes Radio Producer/Host John Diliberto's Top 10 Albums of 2008

-One of Echoes 25 Essential Albums of 2008 (Staff Picks & Listeners’ Poll)

-One of Hustler's Dirty Dozen - Twelve New Discs You Need - December 2008

-One of Collected Sounds Top 20 Albums of 2008

-An Editor's Pick and Top Seller on

ALU = Possession + Sorcery + Intoxication + Passion

Los Angeles-based chanteuse/songwriter Alu returns with her sophomore album "Lobotomy Sessions."

Often difficult to categorize, Alu's sonic explorations and confessional lyrics - sometimes playful, often bizarre, and always captivating - take the listener on a strange and surreal journey to deepest realms of the body, mind and soul. Her highly cinematic music is a kaleidoscope of classical, jazz, electronic, pop, world, avant-garde, singer/songwriter, and goth. Though comparisons sojourn through the likes of Bjork, Kate Bush, Tori Amos and Massive Attack, these are not based on likeness of style, but on originality.

"Lobotomy Sessions" features 10 cinematic soundscapes comprised of Alu's brilliant lyrical observations on modern humanity along with her crystal clear, jazz-tinged vocals and whimsical Fellini-esque compositions. Tracks range from Alu's confident cabaret swagger on "Buzzin' In My Brain" and "The Metrosexuals," to the medieval carnival vibe of "Circus Cosmos" and the gothic rhythms of "Black Cloud" and "Aahhh." Make no mistake, though, because the most important instrument on the CD is Alu's voice and it sounds no better than on the emotional masterpiece "Amy." It's simply breathtaking music from beginning to end.

"Lobotomy Sessions" is the follow up to Alu's critically acclaimed debut album "Infomercial Gasmask." Regarded by the press as a "dark shaded masterpiece," "Infomercial Gasmask" launched a strong international fan base and led to vast interest from music supervisors and filmmakers worldwide. Consequently, Alu has lent her highly visual music to the film world on many occasions. Her soothing song "Last Lullaby" features in the controversial action thriller "Juncture," and a haunting remix of Alu's brand new single "Recluse" is included on the soundtrack to Clive Barker's latest film "The Midnight Meat Train."

“Uniquely spellbounding. Alu has an entrancing quality that refuses to be ignored.” Aced Magazine