Lycia - Quiet Moments | Album Review | By Volume

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Quiet Moments

Quiet Moments presents surprisingly uplifting music from the illusive Arizona band.

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Author: on September 9, 2013
Thrill Jockey
August 20, 2013

The Death Rattle, that moment when the end is nigh and your throat has little more use than being a cesspool for all the saliva and plaque accumulating in your neck. Your breath is short, and gasping at oxygen is difficult enough, never mind trying to speak or swallow. Silence and patience are really all there is left and maybe a modicum of hope that tides will turn differently than they appear. When first introduced to Lycia (very recently), all the descriptors handed to me by their admirers somewhat reflected this moment in my mind – that last ditch grasp at life. And while I wouldn’t say this initial assumption is terribly far off the mark, the illustrious Arizona quartet is more apt to put you down sweetly, as opposed to pummeling you into the dirt.

Quiet Moments meanders in with its title track, setting a serene stage for the band’s first record in thirteen years. Like a graveyard on a sunny morning after a fresh snow, the record is blisteringly bright, like the sun reflecting off the powder, burning your face and blinding your eyes. Quiet Moments frequently is reminiscent of a soundtrack to that walk to the bright light, through your own metaphorical tunnel into the afterlife. Step by step, warm synthesizer and rumbling bass tones after the next, you traverse through the record’s sixty minute runtime, stopping along the way to admire the flowers buried in slush and tempered guitar work. Music as serene landscapes is actually a good way to go about digesting the record — much of Lycia’s music is transportative, ambient, but in a wide-open nature — this is quite literally excellent walking around music. Even as Quiet Moments meanders from time to time (it is an hour or so of various drones and drums after all) it is incredibly kinetic, surprisingly so when you pile up all the track’s time signatures (droning, snail paced frequently) — this is deceptively invigorating music that by all rights has no business being so.

Though this cathartic aspect to Lycia is probably their most appealing trait, Quiet Moments cuts into you deep, but the knife is incredibly sharp, so that initial plunge is clean — easy even — but is once the blade is removed, and the blood begins to rush, do you feel the pain. By this I mean, for all its shortcomings (runtime is a bit long, the album can blend into a blob of droney tones), Quiet Moments leaves like the best Lycia records, painful for a return. Bandages do nothing and tourniquets won’t stop the flow — the only way to halt the bleeding is the stick the knife back in the hole. But don’t worry, Lycia are still razor-sharp all these years in, so the edge will slide right back in with little tug or pull. It just may be difficult to leave Quiet Moments once it finishes its course again.

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