Lykanthea is Lakshmi Ramgopal, a solo electronic musician from Chicago, IL. With lyrics rooted in ancient mythologies, a haunting voice smoked in cave-like reverb and the gauzy drone of synths, Lykanthea writes the soundtrack of thresholds. Drawing on a decade of Carnatic vocal training, Ramgopal “sings hymns of the ancients in a tale that breaks against oppressive hands to expressions and emotions that emerge from behind the veil” (IMPOSE). Her sound is ritual chanting for the electronic age.
Ramgopal began writing and performing as Lykanthea while pursuing a doctorate in Classics at the University of Chicago. She found herself drawn to the narrative of legacy and rebirth in ancient Sumerian texts about the goddess Inanna. Reading these stories while isolated on an uninhabited Greek island in 2013, she began writing lyrics, collecting field recordings, and laying down the soundscapes that became her debut Migration. The EP was released in July 2014 digitally and on cassette to local acclaim. The initial physical run sold out in months, with the album garnering praise from Noisey, IMPOSE, Culture Magazine, the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Reader.
A fixture in Chicago’s dark fashion and witch house scene, Ramgopal’s passion for atmosphere and texture has made her music an inspiration for collaborators. Her music has been featured in promotional videos for Velvit and Vespere Vintage, and her style was praised by dark fashion blog FAIIINT and Culture Magazine. She also collaborated with Hvnter Gvtherer to release a capsule collection of jewelry inspired by Migration’s lyrics. On top of all that, while living in Italy as a winner of the prestigious Rome Prize, Ramgopal performed across Europe, including Leipzig's Wave Gotik Treffen. She also partnered up with sound artist Paula Matthusen for the sound installation "Prex Gemina" for exhibition in Rome and worked with Austrian artist Krist Mort on the video for "Parturition."
Press for Lykanthea:
"[The video for "Parturition"] is a stunning foray into an Etruscan burial ground, with Krist Mort’s signature woozy monochrome imagery that makes you feel like you’re a part of a primordial invocation. " - Noisey
"The electronic ebb and rush of ambiances turn like the travels of the swiftly spinning globe, as Lakshmi sings hymns of the ancients in a tale that breaks against oppressive hands to expressions and emotions that emerge from beyond the pale, and behind the veil." - IMPOSE
"Accompanied by photographs of upended columns and gilded, gothic cathedrals, she pulls ambient music out of its bedroom cliché and transforms it into a vessel for storytelling, putting an intimate spin on tales from ancient civilizations." - MTV Iggy
"Lakshmi Ramgopal, who performs as Lykanthea, is something of a musician's musician. Listening to her speak about her wide array of instruments, her childhood introduction to music as well as the sounds and textures she aims to explore as a musician is the stuff of wonder." - Chicago Tribune