Quiet Moments

Handmade Birds HB-DIS066 CD
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“There are many ways to describe darkwave band Lycia. Given the group’s quintessential gothic temperament, bleak, beautiful, esoteric, and ethereal all ring true. Mentioned less often, however, is the band’s influence on a raft of acts that have quarried the dark veins of evocativeness that Lycia exposed. Label Handmade Birds recently released Lycia’s 1996 album, Cold, on LP for the first time, and with the band’s first full-length in a decade, Quiet Moments, due for release in August, Cold‘s reappearance is a timely reminder of Lycia’s legacy in the sphere of bewitchingly mournful music.

Lycia’s melding of dreamy synth and solemn rock has had a formative role to play in inspiring and nurturing artists who make brooding and shadowy rock and pop, and many contemporary noise, metal, and hauntological electronic outfits have also clearly drawn from Lycia’s darkly poetic oevure for inspiration. The band was originally founded as a solo project by guitarist, vocalist and keyboardist Mike Van Portfleet in 1988. However, it’s Lycia’s mid-‘90s work (with vocalist Tara Vanflower and multi-instrumentalist David Galas) that is most heralded for its blend of dark psychedelia, electronic soundscapes and spectral, plaintive vocals.

Diverse bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Prurient, Xasthur, Type O Negative, and a plethora of funereal and lugubrious artists, have acknowledged the inventiveness and poignancy of Lycia’s multilayered suites. The band’s mix of the haunting, heartbreaking and harrowing defines its aesthetic, but of course, Lycia wasn’t the first band to craft odes of deep sorrow. Post-punk and heavy-hearted luminaries such as Joy Division, Fields of the Nephilim, Siouxsie & the Banshees, the Sisters of Mercy, the Cure, and Bauhaus all contributed to putting bleak beauty on the map, and that topography has been explored by innumerable gothically saturated bands from the ‘80s onwards. However, Lycia was one of the most crucial darkwave bands born from gothic rock, electronica, and post-punk’s original moonlit romance.” - Popmatters

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