Saturday, 12 September 2015

Lycia "A Line That Connects" (2015)

After a ten year absence, American Darkwave band Lycia returned from the dark with their ninth full length "Quiet Moments" in 2013. At that time I didn't give it much attention and its occurred to me I've never gotten into any of there records beyond 96s "Cold" which is a favorite of mine. When I saw "A Line That Connects" pop up in my inbox I decided to make sure I give this one a proper listen. Under the impression that they had moved on from the lonely, frosty ethereal ooze of "Cold" I was pleasantly surprised to a familiar moody, dark somber tone in this record.

Its gloomy, dreary and bleak but comes through a soft, melodic embracing melancholy of airy synths gently rolling through the background mist while the percussion draws out a reluctant beat stretching the tempo to sleepy lows as singer Tara Vanflower chimes sorrowful cries behind Mike Vanportfleet's soft and whispery spoken words. Between it all glistening guitars ooze and flow, unifying the song with pale, somber melodies drenched in reveb heavy effects. Its cold, snowy and dark, but has its own flair compared to "Cold". This one isn't quite as frozen or bleak, there's a glimmer of hope shining through a sorrowful, mourning record of solitude.

Not all of the record follows this vibe, about halfway through "The Rain" kicks things into life with a punchy, rocking track with a faster tempo, pumping beat and catchy guitar riffs. Mike brings a lot of energy to his voice as he delivers foreboding lyrics through a forceful deep tone that sounds fantastic. Its a track reminiscent of 80s Goth Rock and with the following tracks the album keeps the tempo and shift of mood up for a short while before drifting back into bleak, sleepy numbers.

The production is a big step up from "Cold" but that's no surprise, nineteen years of progression gives the sounds a richer texture and depth but it doesn't stretch what the music can do. This record was an approachable dose of the Lycia sound, however it very much plays the same game and offers nothing new or unexpected. Great record but more of the same, of which I can't complain.

Favorite Songs: Silver Leaf, A Trade Out, The Rain, Hiraeth
Rating: 6/10