Apr 052019
 
 
LYCIA: A Line That Connects 

Lycia’s A Line That Connects returns on CD (and for the first time on 2LP) on Projekt Records. Originally released in the summer of 2015 on Handmade Birds, ALTC’s first pressing of 500 CDs quickly sold out. Haunting, bleak, moody and atmospheric, their 10th album is a heavy record with shifting sonics and a full-band sound thanks to a return to the classic mid-90s Lycia lineup of Mike VanPortfleet, David Galas, and Tara Vanflower. Building on the momentum of 2013’s Quiet Moments, it’s a contemporary sounding release that harkens back to their 90s darkwave roots. Lycia’s mix of post-punk bleakness and doomy darkness is an engaging, fascinating listen.

There’s a heavier feel here, a slow burn that threatens to explode from sheer intensity and passion; if you’re wondering just how it’s able to be menacing but also meditative, you’re not alone. The album flows through drone, dark-pop, and post-punk, with liquid guitar dripping, gloomy fog casting its spell, and hypnotic vocals spinning inside your head.

Mike reflects, “Time, space, and nature have been constant themes for Lycia over the years. With A Line That Connects, for my lyrical contributions I focused on lines and connections as the title suggests. There are connections between parents and children which I explore over several songs—between my mom and I, and between my son and I. There are lines that connect then and now. For example, the song, ‘A Ghost Ascends,’ was originally written back in 1983, and for this album it’s being revisited. The song’s original vocalist and lyricist, Michael Irwin, appears on this reworking providing backing vocals. Then there is a series of abstract connections that I explore, mostly to times and places from my childhood.”

POP MATTERS: “Lycia’s influence, and the respect it’s afforded, has been far more profound than any record sales figures would suggest. While VanPortfleet might have felt his band was under-appreciated, you only need look to the resurrection of deathrock, the rise of witchy and hauntological electronica, shoegazing metal, eerily psychedelic Americana, or the rejuvenation of dark ambient music to see that Lycia’s legacy inspired a raft of musicians across a broad range of musical genres.”

PITCHFORK: “For over two decades, Arizona’s Lycia have been pioneers of ‘darkwave,’ a reverb-drenched, gothic take on dreampop. This is the Cocteau Twins, if they looked so far inward that they began to focus on the darker, downer-ridden side. Along with lovesliescrushing, who freed shoegaze from pop conventions, (Lycia) became one of the noteworthy and boundary-pushing acts on the goth music label Projekt. [A Line That Connects] is consistent with their past efforts, while remaining an intriguing headphone journey.”

Selling Points:
• Back in print after quickly selling out in 2015
• 2LP Translucent blue with black smoke, 140 gram vinyl
• Features what is considered Lycia’s classic mid-90s lineup: Mike, David and Tara
• Features lead vocals by all three – including first ever Lycia lead vocals for David
• Final mix by David
• CD Mastered by James Plotkin
• LP mastered by Martin Bowes (Attrition)
• Guest vocals from Sera Timms (Black Mare, Ides of Gemini) on “Hiraeth”
• Features “Silver Leaf” (released as a split 7” single with Black Mare, on Magic Bullet Records) 
• Video for “Monday Is Here,” https://youtu.be/X7N09II1Em4

Full description here on the Projekt site
Listen to the stream here. 


Marc Urselli

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