American darkwave pioneers Lycia are back with a new record, Casa Luna, and if you’ve liked any of their various releases down the years then you’ll be pleased to slip this into your Lycia collection.
Lycia isn’t a name that’ll mean much to most metalheads, unless you’re one of those that saw them supporting Type O Negative at the back end of the last century, and to be honest, a few moments of angst-ridden instrumentation on second track Do You Bleed aside, there’s precious little here to entice anyone currently sat reading this in a 1987 Saxon tour tee. However, if you’re a little more catholic in your tastes then there’s a fair chance that something here will snag your musical tastebuds.
Galatea, for instance, originally written in 1989 but never before heard ‘properly’, is a swoonsome piece of deceptively simple dark pop, touching similar territory to New Order in their most accessible moments of eighties domination, but even here the reticence of David VanPortfleet‘s vocals stop the track going full-top forty, leaving the listener wanting more but ultimately satisfied with the temptation offered. Fans of the more ethereal will be keen to sample The Tara VanFlower-led Salt & Blood, where the band explore soundscapes familiar to devotees of names like Mazzy Star and, perhaps more pertinently, The Cocteau Twins.
But these comparisons are merely here to try and guide the uninitiated towards some sort of understanding of Lycia’s theatre of operations. At the end of the day, this group is actually a one-of-a-kind proposition, existing on their own terms and making music perfectly happy in the knowledge that their place on the fringes is unlikely to suddenly become anything more than that. They’ve been doing this for over thirty years, and it’s comforting to know that they are still around, doing what they do for those who know and love them all the more for it.