What started in 1999 as the creative outlet for members of a Philadelphia-based wedding band continued over the next twenty-odd years, with the usual hiatus here and there, players coming and going, three self-produced albums of original songs, some radio airplay, and plenty of live shows at venues dead and gone.
Now, a post-pandemic Medea has resurfaced with more to say. The new songs are about love and loss, evil and lies, magic and mystery, rendered mostly in minor keys. In other words, the usual Medea stuff. But the new material is filtered through older lenses shaped by real tragedy, both personal and global in scope, and flavored by the ever-present feeling that time is growing short. Irene Lambrou, Patrick Robinson, Tony Winkler, Rich Curtis and James Farrell mined this deep, intense ore, and wound up with the most powerful music Medea has ever made.
In early 2023, the band released two new singles: The Visit, about an imagined return from a lost brother, and Rings, whose meaning is self-evident. A 4-song EP — GhostBox — followed later that year, accompanied by a video for the title track.
"[T]he local ensemble has evolved into a beacon of expression for its members. Their sound is bold and unique, reminiscent of Portishead and Madeleine Peyroux, covering heavy themes with personal anecdotes. These stories are told through skillful instrumentation and Irene Lambrou’s dynamic, commanding vocals." - WXPN Radio xpn.org
"Lambrou’s enchanting to mighty vocals guide us through the entire project. GhostBox, the title-track, veers off towards soul and jazz with a blues-like stomp of a rhythm, and still those unmistakable and faultless vocals lead the way – and maintain the recognizable threads that are tone and poetic exploration of topic. Aptly mysterious lyrically, GhostBox is the kind of EP to invite repeat listening sessions – the short yet enjoyable collection just eclectic enough to hold interest, and beautifully thoughtful within that versatility....The production of this EP is subtle but quite perfect, the band take their time to capture a live sense of escapism – the subtlety of a jazz-kissed closing track Cry a perfect example – the recording allows that strength to shine naturally." -Stereo Stickman
Irene, Pat, Bob McKeown, Glenn Marrazzo
& Michael Ghantt
“Fronted by the throaty, dramatic thrush Irene Lambrou, Medea will put a spell on you with their dreamy music I’d dub ‘goth-elegant.’… Lush keyboard flourishes, buzzy Jorma Kaukonen-style guitar and a slick rhythm section add to a production sheen so finessed a major label could put out this set with pride. Fans of classically-influenced popsters such as October Project, (early) King Crimson and Renaissance will like ‘em. So, too, will devotees of Heart, Indigo Girls and Sade. Grade: A.”
— Jonathan Takiff, Philadelphia Daily News
“Irene is a captivating vocalist. Her sultry vocals heat the music to a passionate degree. The musicians ride her waves creating an album rich in dynamics.”
“Medea has crafted a sound that deserves to be heard: a mesmerizing blend of rock, pop and jazz highlighted by mystical lyrics and Irene Lambrou’s alternately sultry and haunting vocals.”
—Bucks County Courier Times
Irene, Pat, Michael, Glenn &
"Local new-agey rockers Medea have a new album out. The Miracle Line has a clean, folky, XPN vibe, full of ethereal lyrical ruminations and layered harmonies. Like the Nields on Zoloft..."
-Pat Rapa, Philadelphia CityPaper
"The nicest ballad-band in town? That could be Medea, whose dreamy but sinister electro-jazzy folk, heard on their new CD, The Miracle Line, hits Tin Angel June 12..."
-A.D. Amorosi, Philadelphia CityPaper
-Jonathan Takiff, Philadelphia Daily News
Irene, Pat, Tony Winkler, Rich Curtis &
“The quintet Medea plays dreamy elegant pop highlighted by the burnished alto of lead singer Irene Lambrou.”
—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Medea is a complex beast. It’s got progressive rock on its mind, a torch-song heart, and the guts of a hard-driving rock band… It’s an alchemic mixture that brings electric guitar to ethereal folk, marries jazzy elegance to R&B, and puts singer-songwriter acoustic in the middle of a smoky, velvet-wallpapered lounge… Medea is light and shade, muscle and mind, comedy and tragedy.”
- M. Ruben, Philadelphia
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