Soaring violin and guitar weaving around delicately passionate female vocals, underpinned by driving rhythmic complexity – Solstice were an unlikely band to succeed in 1980s Britain. Yet because of their unique vision, audiences in search of an alternative to the shiny ‘product’ of the music industry revelled in the band’s performances at all the major festivals and sell-out tours, on which they made the legendary Marquee club their home.
In spite of this live success, bolstered by BBC sessions and national music press coverage of an unprecedented level for a then-unsigned band, by the close of the 80s the members had dispersed to pursue successful careers in session work, soundtracks and elsewhere, leaving only the independent Silent Dance album to keep the memory alive.
Interest generated by a CD reissue in the nineties led to a Solstice renaissance, with two studio releases – New Life and Circles – and a live album – The Cropredy Set – documenting their return to the big festival stage.
With club and festival dates in the UK and, for the first time, mainland Europe, Solstice found themselves playing to a larger audience than ever before, including – the latest in a tradition of bizarre gigs – to the Queen at the new Milton Keynes Stadium.
Following the critical acclaim of 2010 album, Spirit, and it’s live counterpart Kindred Spirits, Solstice released the superb, Prophecy, on Esoteric Antenna, finally providing the band with a platform they had so long deserved. Support, in the form of three remixes, from none other than prog lord, Steven Wilson, and artwork from iconic Marvel artist, Barry Kitson, helped bring the music to the attention of new ears.
2020 finds Solstice on a high. The new album, Sia, sounds like a band finally finding it’s true voice. New singer, Jess Holland, brings soul and magic to these beautiful songs as Solstice become the band they’ve always aspired to be. And what perfect timing for Solstice to sign to GEP, a label that understands and loves both the music and the audience and, of course, was founded as a vehicle for IQ who played with Solstice right at the very beginning.