Monday, 6 October 2014

Lycia "Cold" (1996)

Lycia are a Darkwave group from Arizona USA who formed in 88 and have released 13 albums since then. This is the one album I have treasured from there discography, at a glance it pulled me in, and after many listens I am still captivated by its bleak and, no surprise, cold sound. This record is dreary, spacious and artic in design, these may sound like negative observations to those who like there music upbeat and chirpy, but these are all positives, in "Cold", Lycia craft a chilling soundscape that explores the darker side of life and self.

Across nine tracks this slow and bleak record paces itself with a genius that keeps me gripped from start to end. Despite similarities from each song to another, they provide passive melodies, subtle sounds and shadowy riffs that stick in the mind. The chilling sound is shaped through guitars and keys soaked in a vast reverb that bleed into each other effortlessly. The drum kit follows the same aesthetic and its slow, decaying pace and lack of complexity fitting the mood entirely. There are both male and female vocals that provide an important human presence in the experience, they are gentle, distant and sorrowful in nature.

There are some beautiful and effortless progressions in the songs as they gradually build up to crashing bells, subtle eerie choirs and other sounds that really add purpose to these passive pieces. This is a soundtrack for the cold, obviously, but these songs really paint a picture in the mind of countrysides covered by snowy blankets that captivate and dazzle, yet are perilous to humans. The dark and bleak atmospheres this music produces is unique, yet familiar, I enjoy it every time I visit.

Favorite Tracks: Frozen, Bare, Colder, Snowdrop, Drifting
Rating: 8/10