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Biography

  • Years Active

    1988 – present (32 years)

  • Founded In

    Tempe, Maricopa County, Arizona, United States

  • Members

    • David Galas (1994 – present)
    • John Fair (1988 – 1990)
    • Mike VanPortfleet (1988 – present)
    • Tara Vanflower (1994 – present)

Lycia is an band from Tempe, Arizona, United States. Lycia's music is characterized by rich soundscapes and layers of echoed guitars, ethereal keyboards and doomy drum machine beats.

The group was founded in May 1988 by Mike Van Portfleet, in the summer of that year Will Welch joined the project. In November, Welch was replaced by John Fair. In 1989, "Wake" was recorded, defining their droning ethereal guitar sound.
John Fair left Lycia in 1990, and Will Welch returned. In the same year Lycia signed to Projekt Records and released "Ionia" in late 1991 after aborting the original first release, titled "Byzantine". They became one of the cornerstones of the Projekt label for over a decade, and one of the most influential bands in the American darkwave scene in the 1990s. They forged a relentlessly dark and driving sound with a wall of shimmery guitars and keyboards, pounding drums, overlaid by Van Portfleet's unmistakable whispered vocals.

1992 saw the release of "A Day in the Stark Corner" and Lycia began its first live appearances. In 1993 David Galas became a permanent member, and their sound evolved with a more mature and polished depth.
In 1994 Tara Vanflower, being a huge fan of the band, decided to meet Mike, and joined as backing vocalist contributing vocals on a couple of songs that were supposed to be for compilation appearances, but ended up on "The Burning Circle and Then Dust" (1995). Tara Vanflower and Mike VanPortfleet married two years later.

The band's sound became comparatively less dark, especially on their final two albums, "Tripping Back Into the Broken Days" and "Empty Space", mostly due to Vanflower's influence. This shift away from their original sound alienated some long-time fans and eventually Lycia broke up in 2003, with Van Portfleet pursuing a solo career.

Lycia reformed in August of 2006 with Mike Vanportfleet, Tara VanFlower and David Galas. "We’ve been slowly working on new material. This time, what we are doing is each of us are bringing in our own songs and then expanding from the initial ideas".
On December 2012, Lycia announced a new release, "Quiet Moments", through their Facebook page. It was released in August 2013.

Discography:
1989 - Wake
1991 - Ionia
1993 - A Day in the Stark Corner
1995 - Live
1995 - The Burning Circle and Then Dust
1997 - Cold
1998 - Estrella
2000 - The Time Has Come and Gone (originally released as under the name Estraya)
2001 - Compilation Appearances, Vol. 1
2001 - Compilation Appearances, Vol. 2
2002 - Tripping Back into the Broken Days
2004 - Empty Spaces
2010 - Fifth Sun (EP)
2013 - Quiet Moments

Side projects
Bleak - Vane (1994) really just Lycia recording under a different name and exploring a "harsher" sound.
Estraya - The Time Has Come and Gone (2000) accoustic side project with Van Portfleet and Vanflower

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