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CAILYN LLOYD

Symphonic Prog • United States


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Cailyn Lloyd biography
Cailyn began playing the piano at an early age followed by the violin and bass guitar. She settled on lead guitar in her teens, playing in blues and prog-rock bands in London, England. After returning to the United States, Cailyn continued to study and perform on guitar, bass, and keyboards, learned to play drums, and took time off to raise a family.

Nine years ago, Cailyn returned to music full time, touring first with the Alimony Blues Band as guitarist and then with popular power-rock band IX Lives on guitar, bass, and keyboards. Cailyn has since devoted most of her time to studio and session work but still performs with the band Enigma. Cailyn is also studying music theory and composition with San Francisco composer, Daniel Leo Simpson.

Cailyn owns a boutique recording studio where she produced her first release in 2008, a blues-classical crossover EP. The following year, Cailyn recorded and produced a classic rock album with WAMI award winning vocalist Dani Daly. That release, "True Lies and Other Fairy Tales", received many rave reviews, most notably in Vintage Guitar Magazine.

In 2012 she released "Four Pieces", a fusion of progressive rock and classical music, featuring three standards from the classical repertoire and one original composition, all performed on modern instruments. "Four Pieces" received many outstanding reviews and was listed as one of the best releases of 2012 on the prog-rock site Progarchy.

Her current release, "Voyager", is a musical portrait of the Voyager space missions: visions of the worlds visited by the Voyager probes - including music from "The Planets" suite by Gustav Holst - realized in powerful progressive rock arrangements.

Bio courtesy of Cailyn Lloyd

Iván Melgar Morey

Cailyn Lloyd official website

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CAILYN LLOYD discography


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CAILYN LLOYD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
True Lies and Other Fairy Tales
2009
2.71 | 3 ratings
Four Pieces
2012
3.68 | 29 ratings
Voyager
2015

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0.00 | 0 ratings
New World in Blue
2008

CAILYN LLOYD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Four Pieces by LLOYD, CAILYN album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.71 | 3 ratings

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Four Pieces
Cailyn Lloyd Symphonic Prog

Review by docall27

4 stars I only like about six classical music pieces and three of them are on this CD. I saw a review of this album in Progression, and being a fan classical-rock adaptations like Pictures at an Exhibition, I had to have a copy. Cailyn is a very talented lady and pulls off a very impressive effort. The opening track, Fantasia is an adaption of Fantasia on a Theme by Vaughan Williams and the best track on the album IMO. This track sounds faithful to the original in an almost reverent way with some tasty overlaid guitar. The bass and drums are solid and punchy and surprisingly effective. Somewhat lost in the mix is some very nice piano working behind the guitars.

Largo is from the Dvorak New World and is a loud (almost too much) remake of the quiet movement. This track has some great guitar work, with the exception of the beginning where the guitar fails to capture the mysterious atmosphere of the original. After that however, Largo has some cool blues moments that lead to a rocking climax and a return to the opening music. This track will take a couple of listens unless you are familiar with the original.

Adagio is powerful and reverent take on Adagio for Strings by Barber. There is a great video for this track on her Youtube page. The final track, Nocturne, was written by Cailyn is a mostly quiet bluesy piece that reminded me of Andy Latimer and Camel. Some lovely licks and guitar work. A perfect late-night chill out song. Not essential but an excellent addition to any collection so 4 stars.

 Voyager by LLOYD, CAILYN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.68 | 29 ratings

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Voyager
Cailyn Lloyd Symphonic Prog

Review by Star_Song_Age_Less

3 stars Cailyn Lloyd is a talented multi-instrumentalist, playing piano, violin, bass and guitar. Voyager, a concept album based on the journey of the spacecraft(s) of the same name, automatically sets the bar high with its high concept. Prog arrangements of excerpts from Holst's The Planets set it even higher. It would be difficult for anyone to live up to the expectations produced by such ambition. Voyager succeeds in some ways, but not all.

Production and technique on this album are superb. Each instrument is pristine, and each played more than competently with tasteful arrangement. However, "tasteful" is not enough to capture the grandeur of the Voyagers' history-making journey, and therein lies the problem. While portions of Voyager are great prog rock, the tracks on the whole do not describe the incredible awesomeness of space or the alien worlds visited. There are a few wonderful highlights that do bring some true wonder into it: "Europa," a luscious exploration of unusual chord-changes that feel truly out-of-the-ordinary, and "Neptune" in which Lloyd arranged some of Holst's work in ways that instantly evoke "cold" and "alien" responses. Possibly the most rewarding track is "Pale Blue Dot," based on a single image taken of the Earth from beyond the orbit of Pluto. It is less proggish than the other tracks, but more poignant with a more orchestral style. It captures a sense of loneliness and smallness while still feeling hopeful.

One complaint about the album as a whole: while Lloyd plays and arranges well overall, I found her guitar leads to be singularly uninspired. They seemed to be based more on what is easy to play rather than what would elevate the music to an epic level or enhance the emotional response of a listener.

Overall, this is good but to represent the Voyagers' journey it should have been... grander. If, however, you are looking for generally well-produced and arranged instrumental prog music, this will certainly fit the bill.

 Four Pieces by LLOYD, CAILYN album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.71 | 3 ratings

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Four Pieces
Cailyn Lloyd Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Cailyn Lloyd is a female American multi-instrumentalist, who appears to have started her musical career in London, England, playing the guitar in a number of small bands.Upon returning to the States she became a multi-instrumentalist and after giving birth to a healthy family she got active again, recording an EP in 2008 titled ''New world in blue'' and collaborating later with vocalist Dani Daly for the creation of the album ''True lies and other fairy tales''.In 2012 Cailyn recorded her second EP ''Four pieces'', playing all instruments by herself.

Not a very imaginative title to say the truth, this EP contains -as expected- four long instrumental cuts, three of which are adaptions on works by composers Ralph Vaughan Williams, Antonin Dvorak and Samuel Barber.Let's get straight to the nice discoveries of the album, first and foremost Cailyn avoids any relation to annoying sound programming and really plays all instruments naturally.The production is quite nice and she appears to be a decent performer on the instruments.Her overall style reminds me a lot of Dutch veterans ODYSSICE, these reworkings sound pretty tasteful and melodic throughout with some good guitar solos and sentimental atmospheres.On the other hand the material is pretty guitar-dominated with slow tempos and rare escapes from the emotional guitar solo-stylings, not having enough room for keyboards or piano, even if playing a style requiring the pronounced use of keyboards.This results to a similarity between the pieces' atmospheres, which is not a nice thing in my books.''Adagio'' is definitely the best of all reworkings with some very cinematic keyboards in the opening minutes and some beautiful guitar work.''Nocturne'' distinguishes as the only original composition in here, having some evident CAMEL influences and sounding a bit bluesy at moments.There's even some notable PINK FLOYD inspirations during the softer parts, but also a very reduced keyboard role.

Maybe I am a bit too harsh, but as a whole this effort isn't what you'd actually call recommended.Very melodic and warm music with symphonic overtones, lacking original themes and balanced instrumentation.Lloyd though appears to be an excellent musician and I admit that I expect a monster personal release by her.Fans of ODYSSICE and similar groups are the ones to take a chance on this...2.5 stars.

 Voyager by LLOYD, CAILYN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.68 | 29 ratings

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Voyager
Cailyn Lloyd Symphonic Prog

Review by floflo79

4 stars Cailyn Lloyd is a very skilled guitarist and great composer who released this album a week ago. This album is a concept album about the Nasa's Voyager. All the tracks have the name of a space object except for the first and the last ones. The album includes four adaptations of parts of The Planets by Holst. The music is great and really makes you feel like you are having a trip through space. The songs are well written, it's pure progressive rock and the guitar parts are just astounding. It's not silly shred with no soul, it's shred for the musical aspect, for making you trip. Voyager is really a great album to begin with in 2015, and I really hope that the other albums will be as good as Voyager is.
 Voyager by LLOYD, CAILYN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.68 | 29 ratings

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Voyager
Cailyn Lloyd Symphonic Prog

Review by Argonaught

4 stars I didn't want to post my review until the official release date of Jan 1, 2014, even thought I had had the CD for a week. But I have just received an email, saying that the Voyager has officially launched! (which would make it a de facto 2014 album, I guess?)

I must say I have been somewhat disappointed by the 2014 crop; no names shall be named, but I have found that most of the Top 100 albums wouldn't merit more than 3 stars.

But the Voyager flies high and shines bright. Cailyn and her band took Gustav Holst's grand creation, The Planets, and propelled it all the way into the deep space. Which, being a space exploration enthusiast, I find exciting and fulfilling.

As usual, instead of dissecting and analyzing the album bit by bit, I'll take the liberty of telling you all what my first impressions were. The Voyager certainly proves that Cailyn and her band have come of (space) age; the quality of their compositions, the execution and the sound engineering are very impressive for a relatively young band. The imagery they use is powerful, beautiful and perfectly congruent with the album's message. Nothing is overdone, and nothing that's worth exploring is left out. A very mature and well-rounded album.

So, why 4 stars only? If I have to pick on the Voyager, I'd say that it's perhaps 5 to 10 minutes "too long", meaning that I have to sort of "force" myself to listen to a few extra minutes past my natural attention span, which slightly diminishes the overall enjoyment. I do reserve the right to re-visit my review and upgrade it to 5 stars :)

 Voyager by LLOYD, CAILYN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.68 | 29 ratings

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Voyager
Cailyn Lloyd Symphonic Prog

Review by Angelo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars Starting in the 1980s, there were people like Yngwie Malmsteen, Edward van Halen, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, Chris Oliva and quite a few more who got the label guitar god attached. There was also at least one goddess apparently, called (The Great) Kat. They all had, or have, two things in common: first of, they're guitar playing skills are fantastic, and second, in each case I lost my appetite for their music quite quickly, maybe with the exception of Eddy van Halen. All that shredding, speeding, tapping etc. is great for guitarists and guitar fans, but as a music listener it bores me quite quickly. Yes, I know, it's great that someone can make his guitar talk like a human, but it's all skill and technique and very little emotion, or feeling, if you will. I much prefer the feeling that e.g Steve Hackett put into old Genesis tracks.

Coming January, the world will see the release of an album that helps me with that: Cailyn Lloyd's Voyager.

Cailyn Lloyd might also be a guitar goddess, but I think she's broader than that. Her skills are great, like those of the others, but she manages to make it not only about technique, and guitar is not her only instrument - she plays synthesizers, bass and some of the drums on this album as well.

The album is an instrumental concept album, about the travels of the Voyager probes that were launched at the end of the 70s to explore the outer planets of our Solar system.

Each track, except the first and last one, is about one of the planets or moons the probes passed on their journey. The booklet with the CD includes a description of the different rock and gas bulbs, and reading those really shows why Cailyn composed the tracks the way she did. Composed or arranged I should say, because four of the tracks were composed by Gustav Holst.

The music simply makes you feel, or rather see, for example how the probes fly over the quiet surface of Io, enjoying a slow, somewhat melodic bass line, to be disturbed suddenly by a volcanic eruption of Cailyn's guitar. A few tracks later, we find ourselves admiring quietly the rings of Saturn, accompanied by mellow keyboards and a bit of guitar, and suddenly we drop through them, driven by a heavy guitar riff, to end up on the dark side, slowly flying away from the giant planet with a steady rhythm towards Enceladus. That moon gives us a dark, almost cold track, just like the moon itself before we head of to Miranda, one of the weirdest moons in our solar system, represented by a high pitched lead guitar that together with a driving synthesizer takes us along the surface something that is best described as a planet turned partially inside out.

After that, there's still more, with the roller coaster ride around Uranus, which contains a shuffled drum pattern, the moon Ariel, where a storm at the end of the track reminds me of the staccato riffs that Alex Lifeson played on Rush' 2112.

Without wanting to describe all tracks, it is worth mentioning the use of an English horn on Pale Blue Dot, which is a track that almost makes the Voyager probes look back in a nostalgic way at earth in the very far distance.

The album closes with Heliopause, which, like the opening track, shows that Cailyn indeed has speed and skill on the guitar, until Voyager leaves the solar system at the sound of the last beat of the drums.

A well thought out album, for all who enjoying a bit of instrumental progressive symphonic rock, with a lot of emphasis on skilled guitar playing. Read along with the liner notes, or close your eyes and enjoy a trip through space. I love it.

 Voyager by LLOYD, CAILYN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.68 | 29 ratings

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Voyager
Cailyn Lloyd Symphonic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

4 stars Seems hard to believe she wasn't accepted in Prog Archives a year ago

The first time that I Heard about CAILYN LLOYD was in 2013, when she was suggested to the Symphonic Team due to the release of her second studio album Four Pieces in 2012. After listening carefully the record, we decided that it wasn't symphonic, so moved them to another team who also said no despite her clear connection with Progressive Rock but due to the mainstream and New Age elements.

Some days ago, received a mail from Cailyn, asking me to listen her new and yet unreleased conceptual album Voyager (inspired by the Voyager Space Program), so she gave me a link to it. Normally we don't check bands or artists already rejected, but due to the fact she had released a full studio album with Holst influences, notified the team and with some reluctance gave a listen....What a nice surprise.

I won't say that Voyager. is the classic Symphonic release, being that has a lot of Jazz and Hard Rock elements, but the structure and beauty of the music captured me in an instant, so a couple days later, CAILYN LLOYD was accepted by unanimous vote of the team knowing that we were before some new stage in the Symphonic evolution.

I won't mention all the tracks, because it would take several pages and probably would spoil the listening experience trying to describe elaborate music in plain words, but will focus in the songs that impressed me more

The opener Voyager is the musical piece that convinced me that Caily should be added to our database. Despite the aggressive guitar intro where she demonstrates her skills, the atmospheric sound created by the interplay between the guitar. Synths and voices (seem like Mellotron created) is simply delightful.

Jupiter is simply brilliant, Cailyn takes Holst music and morphs it into some sort of Heavy Symphonic -Jazz fusion that blew my head. One of the best pieces I heard in the last years. Ariel is a fantastic chaos that reminds me of a King Crimson / ELP nightmare which demonstrates that Cailyn is able to recreate the spirit of the 70's with abundant pomp, dissonances and all the excesses that progheads like me love so much.

The last track I will mention is Heliopause which closes the album retaking some elements from the opener and exploring further, leading to a grand finale where all the instruments explode into a Big Bang of sounds and images.

Despite the fact that I mentioned some tracks, Voyager must be listened from start to end (as any conceptual album), because it's the only way it makes real sense, and the listener will be able to capture the brilliant ideas in the way it was meant to be heard.

Excellent release that deserves no less than 4 solid stars. Just hope Caily follows in this path, because I believe she's one of the most promising new Prog artists.

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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