Coming from a label that generally houses prog and rock bands, I had a reasonable idea what to expect here, at least in terms of generic musical style. Lucy in Blue are from Iceland, and take their inspiration from psychedelic and progressive bands of the 70s.
The moody and deliberate opening is pure Pink Floyd. The swaying tones of “Alright, pt 1” evoke wide misty vistas. The mist sweeps across the plain. Part 2 has a different edge. Organs, soft vocals and pattering percussion combine. It’s silky and evocative of dreamy jazz prog. A quiet guitar solo cuts into the background. These two distinctive openers seem like a sampler. I was looking for something more substantive. At 7 minutes 50 seconds, “Respire” looked promising. The mist returns. The vocals and ambience are hazy and woozy. Dream on. Lucy in Blue take their time in creating this lush and sleepy soundscape, replete with symphonic tones. It’s now utterly King Crimson in style. In a classic prog twist, the day darkens but not for long as sombre piano tones take over this weary piece. It’s a world of fluffy clouds. It’s done in a disarming and modest way. I didn’t feel that I was going to get carried away.
The very title “Matricide” suggests a dark affair. In fact quirky might be a better description. Again it takes its time to spread its wings. It is bluesy and most definitely prog in a dark way, but strangely inconclusively. The instrumental “Nùverandi” starts with a delicate acoustic tune. The colourful pattern reminds me of Porcupine Tree, a thought which came to me many times while listening to this album. “Nùverandi” continues with a melancholic synthesiser solo, Sadness pours through its calm façade. By contrast the more avant-garde “Tempest” buzzes with nervous prog energy. Lucy in Blue don’t stick to a template but provide a difference ambiance with each song, and sometimes within here as we enter a choral dreamland before returning to the shuffling synth and all round prog animation. The title track has a moody, decidedly Floydian start. Dark side of the moon or what? To be fair, “In Flight” is a lovely track. The instrumentals and lush and exquisite, and the soft vocals capture the mood perfectly. It is a reflective journey of nearly 10 minutes. The layers of sound add intrigue. I’m now going to call in Riverside now as a comparison base, but leaving such comparisons, this is a track of great warmth and subtlety, and the highlight of this album for me. Strangely with two minutes to go, it gets sucked up in a cosmic vacuum, but this is prog and it all adds to the intrigue before it finishes on the Floydian note with which it started. The album ends with the calm but distinctly unexciting procession of “On Ground”.
“In Flight” is the right title for this album. That is the impressions these songs give. It’s pleasant and interesting enough, but I really don’t find it inspiring. I think because I heard all this kind of stuff years ago, and for me Lucy in Blue don’t place any sort of special mark on it.