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Archive for March 20th, 2013

Darkwave is Spreading: Lycia’s “Cold” to Be Reissued on Vinyl

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Lycia Cold reissueA pioneering force in the genre of darkwave and ambient music, Lycia have earned the appreciation of fans of bleak but ethereal songcraft – including famous fans like Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and Type O Negative’s Peter Steele. Now, the band are reissuing one of their most beloved albums, 1996’s Cold, on limited edition vinyl.

Lycia, formed in 1988, was the brainchild of Mike VanPortfleet, a singer/songwriter/guitarist/keyboardist with a penchant for building atmospheric sounds and textures into his music. In 1991, they signed to seminal darkwave label Projekt Records; four years later, the lineup having expanded to VanPortlfleet, bassist David Galas and vocalist Tara Vanflower, the band released The Burning Circle and Then Dust, a more acoustic-based affair featuring fan favorite “Pray.”

It’s Cold that might be their most enduring work, though; Vanflower’s haunting vocals and chilly electronic textures throughout make Cold a dark but engaging listening experience. And it’s a release that’s set the template for their future works, all the way to their forthcoming album Quiet Moments, to be released later this summer. In the meantime, though, Cold is getting a brand new 180-gram double-vinyl edition (its first), featuring gatefold artwork based on a CD reissue from 2007 and new mastering for vinyl by guitarist/producer James Plotkin of Khanate and OLD fame.

Limited to 600 copies (half on colored vinyl – specifically “transparent milky white vinyl with a brown haze”), the vinyl edition of Cold will be out on Handmade Birds Records on May 14. A pre-order link is forthcoming, but the track list is below.

Lycia, Cold (originally released as Projekt Records 87, 1996 – reissued Handmade Birds HB-DIS054, 2013)

LP 1

  1. Frozen
  2. Bare
  3. Baltica
  4. Colder

LP 2

  1. Snowdrop
  2. Drifting
  3. December
  4. Polaris
  5. Late


Written by Mike Duquette

March 20, 2013 at 16:27

Posted in Lycia, News, Reissues, Vinyl

Hats Off To Del: Shannon Singles Compiled By Ace Records

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Del Shannon - UK Singles“Runaway,” “Little Town Flirt,” “Keep Searchin’ (I’ll Follow the Sun)”: the songs of Del Shannon have become an integral part of the American rock-and-roll tapestry.  They’re the lasting legacy of a restless, creative artist who survived the British Invasion and continued to make strong, relevant music right up until his suicide in 1990.  Ace Records has just offered a new 2-CD anthology that allows Shannon’s classic singles to be viewed through a new prism.  The Complete U.K. Singles and More (1961-1966) offers just what the title indicates: the As and Bs of every Del Shannon single issued in the U.K. during that period plus a couple of bonuses.  By the numbers, you’ll find 42 songs including nineteen singles.  Of those singles, fourteen went Top 40, and all but one eclipsed the respective U.S. chart placement.  The U.K. had a love affair with Del Shannon, and here’s the reason – well, 42 reasons – why.  All tracks were originally issued on the London and Stateside labels in the U.K.; London first issued Del’s singles but Stateside took over as of 1964’s “Mary Jane” b/w “Stains on My Letter.”

1961’s “Runaway,” a chart-topper on both sides of the Atlantic, naturally starts off this compilation for the man born Charles Westover in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1944. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee followed up “Runaway,” with its memorably eerie Musitron organ part, with another  to Top 10 hit “Hats Off to Larry.” With its overt similarities to “Runaway,” “Larry” went to No. 5 in the U.S. and No. 6 across the pond.  “Little Town Flirt” only made it to No. 12 in the U.S., but eclipsed “Larry” at No. 4 on the U.K. London label.  Shannon continued his winning streak when he became the first American artist to record a Beatles song with his 1963 cover of “From Me to You.” His final American single for Big Top Records, it wasn’t released as a single in the U.K., but Ace has added it anyway!  Along the way to that Lennon and McCartney number, Shannon supplied many of his own songs (“Hey Little Girl,” “Cry Myself to Sleep,” “Two Kinds of Teardrops”) while still surveying tunes from Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman (“(Marie’s The Name) His Latest Flame”), Burt Bacharach and Bob Hilliard (“The Answer to Everything”) and even Roger Miller (“The Swiss Maid”).

After the jump: more details on Del, plus a full track listing with discography and an order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 20, 2013 at 09:40