Ostia side-project Friends of Alice Ivy releases its second EP, “In the Gloaming” On 15th August 2011, Melbourne-based musicians Friends of Alice Ivy release their second EP, titled “In the Gloaming”. An elegant and ambitious work of majestic strings, neo-classical arrangements and ethereal voices; “In the Gloaming” builds on the band’s reputation as Australia’s pre-eminent producers of classic, atmospheric darkwave music…
Friends of Alice Ivy was formed in 2007 by Kylie and Amps, founding members of one of Australia’s best-loved 90’s alternative bands, Ostia. Ostia formed in Brisbane, Australia in 1993 and released a handful of critically-acclaimed EP’s including their landmark 1997 mini-album “From the Aether” which peaked at Number 2 on Australia’s independent chart in May 1997.
Whilst Friends of Alice Ivy shares Ostia’s dreamy, ethereal atmosphere, its sound is somewhat removed from Ostia’s guitar-based textures. Friends of Alice Ivy’s music is enveloped by dark and rich string atmospheres, plucked harps, neo-classical arrangements, and the ethereal voice of Kylie, who sings lyrics steeped in mythology and literature.
“In the Gloaming” builds on the fairytale electronica of “Hereafter Moth”, but takes Friends of Alice Ivy’s music to new heights of ethereal beauty. The EP features six tracks; and they are…
1. Song of Somnus – a dramatic, driving and melancholy opening of heavy strings and percussion. The lyrics explore the paradise of the realm of sleep and conversely, the perils of insomnia.
2. The Summerland Meadows – an early music-inspired lament for the legendary King Arthur and the mystic realm of Avalon
3. A Requiem (for Fuchsia) – Kylie and Amps have long been in awe of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast novels, and this harpsichord and strings-laden song is a requiem for the book’s central victim Fuchsia Groan. This is the second time Friends of Alice Ivy have drawn direct influence from these books; their previous EP’s opener, “The Tower of Flints” was also a direct reference to the novels.
4. Tristan & Iseult – a dramatic and moody song that builds from an atmospheric beginning to a driving percussion-heavy close, with a lyric that explores a free and liberating relationship, using the titular heroes as a metaphor
5. The Ghosts of Dunwich – a guitar-driven song of cities swallowed by the sea. Kylie was particularly inspired by the storytelling style of acid folk of musicians such as Stone Angel in writing the vocal for this dramatic song. The main body of the song is rocked in throes of a tumultuous ocean, whilst its atmospheric ending is the calm after the storm.
6. The Watch Hill – the title is inspired by the Arthurian legend of Avalon. The Watch Hill is where the bodies of great Kings rest in repose. Amps felt that the composition reflected descriptions of the Watch Hill and its tranquil and magical qualities.
The EP will be preceded by the release of a free MP3 single of “The Summerland Meadows” on 1st August. This will be available from the band’s website and last.fm. The free download will be accompanied by a free pdf sleeve featuring exclusive artwork. The first 100 copies of “In the Gloaming” will come with a free handstitched lyric booklet, featuring words from all songs on the new EP as well as the five tracks that make up “Hereafter Moth”. The band will be featured with a double page colour spread in the June/July edition of Fiend Magazine.
The new EP comes nearly three years after the band’s debut EP “Hereafter Moth” which was released in September 2008. As with “Hereafter Moth”, “In the Gloaming” features contributions from a number of guests including Melbourne post-punk veteran Roberto Massaglia (Tankt, The Tenth Stage, Victim’s Ball) who contributes guest vocals to “A Requiem (for Fuchsia)”, notable Brisbane drummer and percussionist Nicole Perry, who plays on “Tristan & Iseult” and “Syrens”, Sydney-based singer/songwriter David Redhill who contributes the oration that opens “Tristan & Iseult” and Ostia guitarist/songwriter Justin Bartlett who plays guitar on the track “Syrens”. The EP was produced and mixed by well-known Brisbane-based producer James Clark who last worked with Kylie and Amps in 1997 when he recorded Ostia fan-favourite “Seasilk” from their “From the Aether” EP.
“In the Gloaming” is released on 15th August 2011 by Australian independent label Elysium Sounds.