Amaya Laucirica
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Amaya Laucirica

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | INDIE

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | INDIE
Band Alternative Pop




"New Faces 2011: Ten of the most exciting new female voices in Antipodean music today."

Victorian songwriter's dreamy melodies are finding their audience.

It's been a big 12 months for Melbourne artist Amaya Laucirica. After having her album, Early Summer, featured on Triple J in late 2010, the singer-songwriter has been on the road with Blonde Redhead (U.S), and supporting Adalita back at home. With another EP due out soon, and a new round of dates announced, Laucirica's only going to get busier. - Rolling Stone Magazine (Australia)

"RRR Album Of The Week, October 2008"

Amaya Laucirica
Sugar Lights

The debut album from Amaya Laucirica is an ethereally beautiful record of assured songwriting and masterful arrangements. Throughout its ten tracks Sugar Lights constantly impresses the listener with its vibrancy, engaging storytelling and subtle craft. - RRR Radio

"If You Look Now' - Single Of The Week"

Occasionally there's something intangible that makes one tender guitar ballad the answer to your anxieties, or at least respite from them for 2 minutes 42 seconds, and every other tender guitar ballad the catalyst to tune out or change stations. Melbourne-based Amaya Laucirica is this week's unexplained but definite mood lifter, with her lilting, relaxed, cuddled-up-on-a-warm-verandah soundtrack If You Look Now. Part of that comfortable smile you'll get is undeniably brought by Amaya's gorgeous, broadly soothing voice, and when it's part of a harmony, good lord, you'll be wishing it was Sunday morning and you were hungover all over again, just to witness its redemptive powers. Once you've heard this debut's simplicity, it won't be as surprising to read some of the names involved - Peter J. Moore (I didn't know him either but he's produced the Cowboy Junkies, which gives you an idea of what's here) on production. - but the escapist triumph here can't be put down to anyone but Laucirica herself. This is a welcome surprise of a debut. Hurrah!

-Simon Topper - Rave Magazine

"Live Review: Karova Lounge April 8 2011"

Amaya Laucirica
Karova Lounge, Ballarat
April 8th 2011

On an oddly warm autumn night in regional Victoria, two Melbourne songwriters gave quietly powerful sets without the safety net of their usual bands. And instead of sounding stranded or unadorned, the songs proved more than able to bloom.

For support act Amaya Laucirica especially, her songs seemed to stretch out and envelop the entire space. That’s no mean feat for just an acoustic or electric guitar and a singer, but Laucirica has a rare voice that breathes sleepy grandeur and bruised beauty. Entries from last year’s Early Summer became more country-ish in a solo setting – she usually leads a five-piece – while the title track of her first album Sugar Lights delivered the night’s twangiest affair. The stunning ‘Marry Me’ has the kind of simple refrain around which many a country classic was built: “I still got things I wanna say to you”, while a cover of Kristin Hersh’s classic ‘Your Ghost’ was the surprise of a long, lovely set that confirmed Laucirica as a knockout talent.

It was nearly enough to make one forget the night’s headliner was Adalita, the gritty alt-rock siren touring behind her first solo album after so many years fronting Magic Dirt. But she proved no slouch; playing alone and with atmospheric sideman JP Shilo, she coaxed out her solo material with as much stinging verve and bitter truth as on her self-titled debut.

As on the album, she opened with the guitar-looped ‘Hot Air’, notable for the deadpan line “Oh boy I need your body”. Then came the spoken-word cool and bleak guitar burn of ‘Invite Me’ and the stark ‘Fool Around’ before Shilo hovered over a few songs on second guitar. ‘Jewel Thief’ destroyed live, while ‘Perfection’ hung with Shilo’s mournful violin and the new ‘I Want Your Love’ followed in the same devastating vein. As on the album, Laucirica sang back-up and played acoustic guitar on the folky ‘Good Girl’. Shilo then contributed an intense, Suicide-worthy guitar loop to the delayed vocals of ‘Goin’ Down’.

That and ‘Jewel Thief’ yielded the most turbulence in an otherwise slow burn. Adalita dedicated the set to Magic Dirt bassist Dean Turner – who succumbed to cancer in 2009 and encouraged her to embark on this solo album in the first place – before finishing with ‘The Repairer’, another smouldering marvel.

Away from Melbourne - and their bands - these two proved how powerful a musician can be alone; untethered and yet utterly focused.

Doug Wallen - The Vine

"'Early Summer' Album Review"

Early Summer – the follow-up to Amaya Laucirica’s 2008 debut album, Sugar Lights – is an enveloping record that draws on the pensive intimacy of the talented Melbourne songstress.

But it’s also a record that requires a certain degree of dedication from the listener. It’s cloaked by an almost opaque blanket of reflective contemplation, whereby intensity is replaced by plaintive expression. Her sophomore album, Early Summer, seeps into the consciousness slowly but impressionably, just like peering into the copious shades of abstract art or feeling strangely comforted by a zephyr of post-rain breeze.

Dreamy soundscapes, hazy psychedelia and mellow pop nuances define Laucirica’s gracefully haunting sophomore album, while the arrangements of violinist J.P. Shilo prove an essential addition.

Beginning with mournful organ, Most Times I Feel Alright is a smouldering ballad of misty romanticism, in which Laucirica sings: “In my dreams, things rearrange / Try to imitate your innocence”. This World Can Make You Happy is the record’s most immediate composition. The sublimely crafted track displays the intricate manner in which the record’s instrumentation glides to the breathiness of Laucirica’s vocals without tarnishing any of its ingrained expressiveness and raw intimacy. Laucirica’s skilled band – comprising Andrew Cowie (drums, guitar), Andrew Keese (keyboards, guitar) and Richard Martin (bass) – back her voice and vision beautifully, allowing for the songs to espouse restraint at times or flourish in meticulously-arranged layers.

Sun On My Face is laced in Laucirica’s smooth, innocent intonation and ethereal folk cadences for the first half of the song before exploding with distortion and eliciting a ghostly ambience. Anywhere She Went portrays Laucirica’s fondness for country-infused blues and her expanded vocal trajectory, but the obviously personal Marry Me is rife in cliché and mawkish sentiment. Sleeping In Your Shadow, on the other hand, glistens in Eastern-influenced keys, soulful jazz-pop and vivid imagery. When she cries, “From here, I see you fade away / You turn so slightly further away / I want to see you again someday”, the listener couldn’t be closer to the yearning soulfulness of Laucirica’s warm embrace.

Like a misty-eyed reflection on a balmy evening – with a glass or two for company – Early Summer possesses moments of stirring poignancy, but it’s still reaching for that deepened fulfilment. In Laucirica’s case, it’s a fine position to be in – full-discovery is never a quick process, but Early Summer is close to finding it.

Review by Christine Lan - Beat Magazine

"Mess and Noise 'Early Summer' Album Review"

On her second album, Amaya Laucirica retains the same trio of multi-instrumentalists – Andrew Cowie, Andrew Keese, and Richard Martin – from her 2008 debut, Sugar Lights. They’re joined this time by J.P. Shilo, who handles strings and other embellishment. Due partly to Shilo’s contributions and partly to Laucirica’s own evolution, Early Summer is a dreamier, more ruminative affair. She now sounds less like a singer-songwriter with a band behind her and more like a band leader, twanging her smoky sigh with sureness against the richest of textures. If her lyrics can get lost in all that enveloping prettiness, these songs grow more tangible and accessible as we learn their individual shapes.

Still, it’s an album marked by understatement and restraint, no matter how many different instruments materialise. Like Sally Seltmann’s latest album Heart That’s Pounding, Early Summer is burgeoning with layers, but in this case the results sound more like Mazzy Star fronting a mellowed Jesus and Mary Chain, especially on ‘Climb Up High’. As little as she dramatises her vocal delivery, Laucirica remains very confident in it, slinking through the reverb lullaby ‘This World Can Make You Happy’ and gently reassuring us on ‘When I Think Of All The Places’. Her melancholy on ‘Sleeping In Your Shadow’ comes in degrees as subtle as the growing distance between lovers she describes, while she yearns openly on the almost cosmic country of ‘Marry Me’ and self-harmonises on the closing ‘It’s So Wrong’.

A deeply calm, somewhat shrouded, grower of an album, this puts the Melbourne songwriter towards the front of her class – if only people give it time to settle in.

by Doug Wallen
- Mess and Noise

"Triple J Feature Album"

Our feature album this week is Early Summer from Melbourne's Amaya Laucirica. The second album from the singer/songwriter and her band, it's a wistful, tender affair, full of dreamy melodies and sublime layers of sound. You may not have heard of her before this week, but you won't soon forget her. Early Summer by Amaya Laucirica, our Australian feature album on Triple J this week. - Triple J

"Sugar Lights Album Review - The Dwarf"

Remember the scene in High Fidelity (I’m sure you’ve seen the film) where Rob, Barry and Dick fantasize over being in a relationship with a musician while listening to the delightful sound of Marie DeSalle singing Peter “Fucking” Frampton’s Baby, I Love Your Way? Well, that’s pretty much where I’m at after listening to Amaya Laucirica’s debut Sugar Lights: I want a little picture of me in the liner notes.

My first thoughts when I listened to Sugar Lights was how shy and melancholy the album is. It’s deeply introspective and has a “where are we going?” vibe to it. This vibe comes thanks to the beautiful voice of the young Miss Laucirca, which is so innocent yet captivating. She sounds something like a cross between Donna Simpson (The Waifs), Kasey Chambers and Leslie Feist; similar to a less jazzy/ more country Norah Jones. She also tends to over-emphasise her Australian accent, adding the country feel of the album. With a voice like hers, this CD leaves you feeling solemn and perhaps slightly sad; however, you’re also deeply fulfilled. The solemnity of her voice is matched by the sombre lyrics which ooze feelings of distance and love-lost. Still, there is a certain positivity with this CD and while songs such as Lost And Found and Waiting For You talk of uncertainty in relationships, they also manage to convey hope and a desire to create better times.

Initially, you’ll probably feel you’re in a monotonous cycle with Sugar Lights due to the similar tone and tempo of each song. Don’t be turned off by this! For each consecutive listen of this CD you’ll find yourself better understanding the emotions of each track, therefore making each unique. I particularly enjoy how well the backing vocals of Andrew Keese contrast Amaya’s vocals in If We Kept Driving, the last song on the album.

There’s obviously a ton of talent flowing through Amaya’s veins. Her music is written in a way that leaves it open to interpretation while managing to avoid airy-fairy subjective metaphor. She tells stories that you can relate to and it’s through her writing style that the influence of country music can be best seen. As an artist she’s confident and intelligent and, to her benefit, appears to be well known throughout the music community. Sugar Lights isn’t a revolutionary piece of work and this album doesn’t push any boundaries (how can it, it’s Country/Folk) but on a personal level, it does pull a few strings and is definitely worth your time. - by eyesoftheranger | Monday, November 10, 2008

"Amaya Laucirica - Sugar Lights (Album) Review"

Reviewed by: Shannon Carlson
4/5 Stars

It's all too rare these days for an artist to not only know what makes certain places special, but to grasp and understand why travelling and leaving behind the comfort of the familiar to create your own narrative is not only influentially vital, but is essential to great art.

In the fine tradition of being inspired by travel, and the highly romanticised, almost mythological pull of The Road, the country-bred Amaya Laucirica has managed quite beautifully to create original ideas from a genre that is usually weighted down with tired cliche.

Amaya's debut album Sugar Lights is the product of a woman with her roots placed firmly in the countryside of her beginnings, but also travelling forward and experimenting with a changing landscape.

The title track documents the external changes around her "all the places I used to drink in while they're not there any more/all the shops I used to go to got a for sale sign in the door" to her own internal shift "I don't want to wait/I don't want to die around here".

Having started in a small town in South Australia, then travelling to Sydney, then to Melbourne to widen her musical horizons, Amaya meshes countrified folk with a pop gleam, making it seem effortless and natural.

It is a credit to Dave McLuney and Mick Harvey (of Bad Seeds fame) who both helped to produce and arrange the album, that Amaya's voice serves as the focus of the project, but at the same time, sits perfectly alongside the more than capable band.

Indeed, a highlight of the album is 'Slow Down', as performed on the ABC, when Amaya's raw and emotive voice soars through and above the plaintive guitars, showcasing the multi-layered talent of this well-travelled songbird.

Within an incredibly short time, Amaya has caught the attention of a fickle industry, signing a record deal with Infidelity and then a world-wide publishing deal with Mushroom Publishing. Most importantly, her live performances are captivating, which is the true mark of a talented musician. With such an assured debut, it will be worthwhile to see where her continuous journeying will, if ever, end.

- The Scene:

"CD - Amaya Laucirica: SUGAR LIGHTS | Merge Magazine"

4/5 Stars

There’s something really lovely about Amaya Laucirica’s debut – a feeling of intimacy smooshed up against what I can only peg as a profound sense of sparseness. The sparseness part at least is no wonder – until she was 18, Amaya lived in Millicent (gateway to… Mt. Gambier). After moving to Melbourne, she began to write songs as a way of combating her loneliness at living in the big bustlin’ city.

This isolation is a theme in Sugar Lights, with the twangy opener ‘You’ve Got a Smile’ like some sort of ghost town love song, and quiet tales of difficult decisions and letting go filling out much of what follows on the album. The titular ‘Sugar Lights’ oozes a Darklands-era Jesus and Mary Chain instant catchiness, and airy closer ‘If We Kept Driving’ plays out almost like a stripped back Irish ditty (this is a good thing). ‘Lost and Found’ is also a highlight, with Amaya’s clear voice cutting beautifully across the subdued arrangement, which shuffles and plucks away, quietly insistent. It all hits at just the right level. - Merge Magazine:

"Everything At Once: Amaya Laucirica"

By Ryan Egan

I've had a little thing for Amaya Laucirica for a while now. Its not a crush, but a purely platonic love for her voice and her music. At times she reminds me of excellent Melbourne alt-country duo Royal Chord. Some might also hear bits of Mazzy Star, Neko Case or Lucinda Williams in her quiter moments. The songs are thoughful, yearning yarns of loss, love and heartbreak - wrapped in the colours of the lonesome, crowded wild west. But its not strictly 'country' music, its more a kind of slow-burning inner-city blues, for want of a better word.

"Lost and Found" from Amaya's debut Sugar Lights is a perfect example of this - straight up country-pop balladry, played with conviction and purpose, all draped in Amaya's sweet and laconic voice. Overall its not a record full of surprises, but its presented with passion and infused with talent. It has a more mature sound than on her EP from a couple of years back too, which bodes well for her next few releases. Check out some of Amaya Laucirica's tunes yourself on her website, and see her play live, with band, launching the album, this Thursday October 30th at the Northcote Social Club. - Everything At Once: Blog Spot

"Sugar Lights: Album Review"

Amaya Laucirica’s debut is one about subtlety. There are no examples of dizzying vocal acrobatics, most of the tracks are mid-tempo and their arrangement will make it seem like every single song sounds the same. It’s only with repeated listens that the album blooms, showing off what it has to offer. The harmonizing on If You Look Now makes it one of the early standout tracks, and the juxtaposition of Amaya’s soft vocals against the electric guitar works nicely on Not of the Same Kind. The song writing is simple but encompasses both personality and vulnerability, especially on the slow burning If We Kept Driving and Dust, where she sings “I got no expectations, no idea what you should be … she’s already stuck in your dream.” It’s her ability to sound so down to earth that will win her the adoration of anyone that listens to this short but sweet debut.

- By Carlos D - 3D World Magazine


Anywhere There's You - EP
Released September, 2011 (Departed Sounds)
Single: No Excuses
(Received rotation on Triple J, FBI and Triple R radio stations)

Early Summer - LP
Released October, 2010 (Departed Sounds/Other Tongues)
This World Can Make You Happy/ Climb Up High
Anywhere She Went/ Sleeping In Your Shadow
(Received high rotation on Triple J Radio)

Sugar Lights - LP
Released October, 2008 on Infidelity Recordings through Inertia Music.
If You Look Now
Lost and Found
(Received high rotation on Triple R radio)

Amaya Laucirica (Self Titled) EP
Independent 2006
5 Track EP featuring 'You've Got A Smile' and 'Slow Down'.



If one were to summarise Amaya Laucirica’s music in a single word, that word would be “transcendent.” It’s a fitting word, because it describes both the genre defying nature of Amaya’s music and the effect her music tends to have upon the listener.

In 2008, Amaya Laucirica released her debut album, Sugar Lights on Bruce Milne’s label Infidelity Recordings. An intriguing blend of country, folk, rock and pop, Sugar Lights was well received critically and awarded “Album Of The Week” by RRR radio and “Single Of The Week” by Rave

As bold a debut as Sugar Lights was, it was Amaya’s second album, Early Summer, that truly defined her sound. Early Summer was denser, more detailed and darker than its predecessor, yet at the same time, retained the rawness, hope and beauty, that made Sugar Lights such an enticing

Writing for Mess & Noise, Doug Wallen praised it as an album “marked by understatement and restraint, no matter how many different instruments materialise” and likened the album’s sound to “Mazzy Star fronting a mellowed Jesus and Mary Chain”. “Early Summer,” wrote Wallen, “puts the Melbourne songwriter towards the front of her class.”

Early Summer was also selected as Triple J’s Feature Album in late 2010, with Triple J describing it as “a wistful, tender affair, full of dreamy melodies and sublime layers of sound.”

Early Summer was recorded by Dave McCluney at Atlantis Studios in Melbourne during late 2009, mixed by Victor Van Vugt (PJ Harvey, Nick Cave) in New York and mastered by Ray Staff (Spiritualized, The Libertines, David Bowie) in London.

In 2010, Amaya also contributed vocals to the acclaimed debut release by “Adalita.”

Following the release of the album, Amaya opened shows for Blonde Redhead and Holly Miranda (USA). She also toured extensively around Australia opening all national dates for Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens of The Stone Age) during his 2010 tour and opened all dates nationally for Adalita (Magic Dirt) in 2011. Later that year, she was named by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the ten exciting new female voices in Australian music. Amaya was also nominated as female artist of the year at The Age EG awards.

Since then Amaya has been busy at work on her third album. 'Sway' is due for release in 2013.

Band Members