Lycia's groundbreaking, highly influential record Cold was issued for the first time on vinyl by our friends at Handmade Birds. An edition of 600 were pressed - 300 on black vinyl, and 300 on milky-clear with brown haze, all on 180 gram wax, packed in a beautiful gatefold jacket. It sounds and looks perfect. The record, a perfect accomplishment on it's own, was made better by the attention and care put into its vinyl edition. Those who bought this are aware that it came with a digital download which included the song "Antarctica" from the new album Quiet Moments.
What's that, you say? A new Lycia record? Certainly reason for excitement, no? Honestly, dear readers, it sent chills up and down my spine, and I literally had goosebumps on my arms the first time I heard that there would be a new Lycia record. And the fact that it was piggybacking the vinyl edition of Cold gave me hope that perhaps it could live up that standard, set so long ago for this music that bares the label "darkwave."
Okay, maybe that's not exactly fair. In my mind at least, Cold is one of the monumental achievements of music of the last 25 years - the perfect balance of expert songwriting, evocative atmosphere, and gut-wrenching emotion - so to ask that same thing of Quiet Moments would be pure lunacy.
Well, friends, I am happy to report that Quiet Moments comes about as close at a record could to living up to a perfect predecessor. All the chilling emotion that one would expect of Lycia is there in abundance, wave upon numbing wave of stark, icy darkness, brought about by gothic synths, spoken, ethereal vocals, a more prominent use of electronic percussion, and hypnotic guitars that would be perfectly at home on a Xasthur record (indeed, I would have to think that Xasthur, among others, would never have existed if there had been no Lycia). But what makes the difference for this record, and really for any Lycia record, is their flawless ability to utilize empty, barren space to exhibit the full range of emotions communicated by their songs. The songs - especially the first 6 - are quite minimal at times, showing a more abstract side of the band. But by the time track 7 comes on, that approach has been left behind (at least temporarily) to showcase a heavier, fuller side of the band, and in my opinion, the finest moment in the band's rich history in "Spring Trees." The song brings so many personal emotions to the surface for me that it's near impossible to describe. When the song crashes in, just ride it to its end... and if you're me, hit the repeat button a couple of times so that you can hear it again and again.
All in all, this record showcases everything that Lycia has always been really, really good at, put together into one stunning record that, while maybe not as grand as Cold, doesn't have to be in order to stand as a very proud moment for the band and their fans alike.
The first copies of this were signed, but those are long gone. You can get your CD from Handmade Birds.