Dec 2013 09

Lycia - Quiet MomentsLycia
Category: Goth / Shoegaze / Darkwave
Album: Quiet Moments
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: As lovely as autumn yet as cold as winter, Lycia returns from a long absence with a lush set of darkwave to chill your heart.


In many ways, Arizona’s Lycia exemplifies the cold and desolate spirit of darkwave, exhibiting a sound that is as darkly frigid as the lyrics and song titles. Since the 2002 release of Tripping Back into the Broken Days, the band has been in a state of relative hibernation, save for a reissue of Bleak ~ Vane and the Fifth Sun EP in 2010, both released digitally for fans to enjoy while only offering a minor respite from the long silence. Written and recorded over a six year period and offered only in a limited pressing of 1000 CDs, the group’s latest album, Quiet Moments is anything but what its title suggests, though it still retains Lycia’s signature blend of shoegazing ambience and stark, chilled atmosphere.

From the slow dirge of the opening title track, the restrained howl of a sustained guitars backed by an accompaniment of pads providing the primary backdrop, Mike VanPortfleet’s breathy voice resting in a space just above a whisper, Quiet Moments is immediate in its familiarity and unrelenting in its deathly, wintery embrace. Even as songs like “Antarctica” and “Greenland,” along with “Quiet Moments,” push past the eight minute mark, the simplicity and repetition of the bass progressions and the minimalist beats only serve to reinforce the sullenness of the images they evoke; and yet, somehow the slow burn is welcoming as it allows the listener to gradually sink into Lycia’s musical world. “The Pier” with its cloudy haze of melodic pads offers a moment of respite before Quiet Moments takes a shift in its remainder toward a more aggressive tonality. Songs like “The Wind Sings” and “Dead Leaves Fall” with their scuffling mechanical rhythms aided by a buildup of noisy melodic darkness, “Dead Star, Cold Star” with its distorted electronic stuttering reminiscent of the band’s side excursions into more industrial territory, and the haunting feedback drenched splendor of “The Soil is Dead” are only slightly more energetic, but no less barren in the sonic environments they create.

While Tara VanFlower only appears on two tracks, lending her lovely yet ghostly vocals to “The Soil is Dead” and “Spring Trees,” there is no denying that Quiet Moments is classic Lycia as VanPortfleet has crafted a lushly ambient and darkly foreboding set of songs that is sure to please longtime fans. If you like your darkwave as beautiful as autumn, foreshadowing the grim bleakness of an approaching winter, then Lycia is without peer and Quiet Moments is your soundtrack.
Track list:

  1. Quiet Moments
  2. The Visitor
  3. Antarctica
  4. Greenland
  5. Grand Rapids
  6. The Pier
  7. Spring Trees
  8. The Wind Sings
  9. Dead Leaves Fall
  10. Dead Star, Cold Star
  11. The Soil is Dead

Lycia (Lycium Music) Website
Lycia MySpace
Lycia Facebook
Handmade Birds Website
Handmade Birds Facebook
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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