2 The Visitor
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
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Information in English here. Click to order CD.
With 2013’s breathtaking and bewitching Quiet Moments, Lycia truly kicked off their second era. Written, performed, and recorded by Mike VanPortfleet with additional vocals from Tara Vanflower, these 11 tracks retain the band’s familiar hypnotic post-punk/dark rock muse while simultaneously sounding fresh and original.
“It’s not often a band comes back from a long hiatus with anything approaching its best work,” writes Craig Hayes in PopMatters, “but with Quiet Moments Lycia has returned with an album as blissful and fascinating as Cold or The Burning Circle and then Dust. Quiet Moments presents a beautiful portrait of Lycia in 2013, reaching in and grasping at the heart with bittersweet, pensive, and luxurious sounds.”
With emotionally raw songs and plenty of mournfulness, Quiet Moments is a deeply personal and honest album — delving into isolation, existence, love and loss. The album explores eternal themes through glimpses into Mike’s private life and innermost thoughts. In a sense these are plaintive snapshots of memories — VanPortfleet’s personal recollections of an icy, distant past.
Lycia creates meaningful yearning imagery, and deep, immersive evocativeness. Creating that moody atmosphere is exactly what Lycia does best – turning the mournful into the majestic to make meditative suites. With echoing vocals rising through wintry drones, and light reflecting off glazed guitars and billowing, shimmering electronics and effects, Quiet Moments is 64 minutes of expressive, eloquent, and chilling music.
Craig Hayes writes, “Lycia has provided some achingly blissful suites in the past, and Quiet Moments ranks up there with its very best work.”
Pitchfork: Quiet Moments certainly harkens back to the early 90s glory days of Lycia—it’s slow and heavy and solemn, but it’s pretty, too. You’ve taken a lot of stylistic detours under the name of Lycia, but is this album an attempt to restate the band’s claim to that sound? And if so, did you revert to your old approaches to make it work?
Mike: I went in the studio with a vague idea of what I wanted. I wanted to return to the Lycia style of the early 90s. When I think of Quiet Moments, I think it’s a sister album to A Day in the Stark Corner from 1993. My approach in the initial stages in working on Quiet Moments was very similar to my approach for working on a lot of the Stark Corner material.
But I think Quiet Moments approaches a lot of the same themes from a much more mature angle. In the 90s, my view of the world was a little more tunnel vision, more focused on the immediate, more now. My scope of vision is a lot wider. It’s not just dwelling on whatever is bothering me. I used to focus in, and it was useful and primal. Now, it’s a little more sedate.
LYCIA | 4
The ultra-limited LYCIA | 4 4CD box set contains 2010’s Fifth Sun, 2013’s Quiet Moments, 2015’s A Line That Connects and 2018’s In Flickers. All four second era LYCIA albums are in DigiPaks (no additional booklets or music.)
Order it here.
For customers who bought In Flickers on CD last year, the USA Webstore is making this hard box available as a 3CD set. It does not include In Flickers… but it’s the same box, so there’s a space to put your copy in the box. This is not available from the European store.
From a feature in Popmatters:
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… 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 VanPortfleet 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.”