Victoria Lloyd - vocals, lyrics
Chris Ross - programming
Ben Fargen - guitars
A review from fac193 zine
When lots of people think of romantic music, they think of ‘smooth’ r&b (Barry White, anybody?) or dreadful soft rock. Good news for those who gravitate toward neither of those two options, there is a third! Claire Voyant, a trio hailing from California whose latest, Love is Blind is lovesick and sensual all at once. Fans of artists like the Cocteau Twins or The Cure may definitely take interest in Claire Voyant on at least a sonic level. Led in voice by the beautiful Victoria Lloyd, their ethereal rock is steeped in lovesick dreams. “Twenty-Four Years” shimmers with a gliding guitar part in the chorus that’ll keep you coming back for more. By and large, Love is Blind is a slow record, though “Close to Me” (of no relation to the Cure song) provides an upbeat moment in the second half. The title track and album closer is a quiet, passionate number…nearly a lullaby and such a fitting way to end this disc. Funny that a band with such a name as Claire Voyant would dedicate themselves and their music to a theme such as the blindness of love, but Love is Blind stings true indeed. - Jack Alberson
Band History | Victoria Lloyd, Chris Ross, and Ben Fargen founded Claire Voyant in Northern California five years ago. Chris and Ben had been involved musically since childhood and, with the addition of Victoria, the chain was complete. The trio yearned to create music as touching and emotionally charged as some of their favorite artists. They write most of the music collectively and songwriting is still a process they find hard to explain. That elusiveness is the "power of music" the band believes so strongly in. Claire Voyant can express light, darkness, beauty, and hope. A voyage they hope is as healing to the listener as it is to each of them.
Claire Voyant combines powerful female vocals, hypnotic keyboards, and melodic guitar to embrace this strength, and deliver "ethereal pop" sensibility. From the gentle beginnings of the 1995 self-titled debut, to the dreamy and electronic second album, Time and the Maiden, Claire Voyant has managed to please critics and fans alike.
Their third release Time Again: A Collection of Remixes, and its inspiration, Time and the Maiden was released in January 2001 for North America on Metropolis Records. Time Again contains remixes by VNV Nation, Front 242, Covenant, Haujobb, and many other talented artists - showcasing Claire Voyant’s signature vocals and songwriting style, while also displaying the talents of the contributing artists. (Also in 2001, a collaboration between Victoria Lloyd and Daniel Meyer of Haujobb titled H_M_B was released on WTII Records.)
The northern California trio are set to return in the fall of 2002 with Love is Blind, their latest album. Love is Blind is a journey, a sonically personified romance of beauty and warmth adulterated with persistent micro-stabbings of invocation. With Love is Blind, Claire Voyant stylistically paint portraits of discovery, despair, and the potential disintegration of the elusive ‘love.’ The lush electronics of Chris Ross combined with the innovative melodic guitar work of Benjamin Fargen create a hypnotic foundation for Victoria Lloyd’s intoxicating vocals. Love is Blindis a momentous achievement for the legacy of Claire Voyant. Watch for a possible fall 2002 tour!
A review from earpollution.com
I want to direct you to the header of the Claire Voyant website which reads: "Sometimes I think the magic is real." I want to pretend that is all that I need to say about this band, but it isn't. We've let go of wonder so much that a simple statement like the above doesn't have the necessary force to entrance us completely. We need a bit more to surrender completely.
Claire Voyant's latest release for Metropolis Records, Love Is Blind, completes the maxim. From the shivering guitar melody of "Pieces" through the final plaintive cries of "Love Is Blind," the trio of Victoria Lloyd, Benjamin Fargen, and Chris Ross weave gossamer cocoons of ethereal pop. I was going to qualify these cocoons as being "comforting and sheltering," but that denies the shadows and despair which streak through a number of these songs. Claire Voyant's voyage through love and heartache is not always as suffused with light as the melodies and music may lead you to believe. The cocoon of "Twenty Four Years" has hardened, trapping the narrator inside. "I say I am fine / Behind four walls / Oh, but in this world / I am not fine at all." The light and fire of her relationship has fused the gossamer delight into a captivating prison -- the pure Cocteau Twins jangle of Fargen's guitar -- and the narrator is trapped inside, struggling to find the strength break free. The dream pop chorus of "Pieces" takes hold of the split and rides it aloft: "All I have ever known is that there are pieces of light in the shadows."
There is a blindness to love, a caustic venom which flows beneath the sunshine and roses. We are prone to blindness when it comes to love. Claire Voyant's gift is how they dovetail the effervescent and ethereal sound with the darker undercurrents of obsession and denial. These are pop songs for those who have had their hearts broken, but who can't stop themselves from trying again. But can you blame yourself? It is part of human nature to want to be loved; it is part of our nature to find pain to remind us that we are alive. I feel like Odysseus washed ashore on Circe's island. Half-dead from exposure and exhaustion, I am confronted by a vision and a voice, a dulcet angel which offers me comfort and respite from the arduous journey which I have been on. Is she real? It doesn't matter. For the duration of Love Is Blind I am captivated. For an hour, I hope. -Mark Teppo
A review from tandemnews.com
This seven-year-old band from California makes a lush, romantic sound that has mesmerized an international body of fans. Similar to the "heavenly voices" school of bands inspired by the classic 4ad sound, Claire Voyant centres on the dreamy vocals of Victoria Lloyd, who sounds not unlike one of Nettwerk's Sarah McLachlan style singers. In beautiful tracks like "Mirror" and "Warm" her two bandmates support her voice in sumptuous layers of keyboards, atmospheric guitars and programmed rhythms. Their rockier side gets compared to Shirley Manson and Garbage, but these dynamic moments are a response to the passion of the music rather than a reaction to the charts.