You know those annoying couples who do everything together? Like the ones that share a Facebook account and post too many pictures of each other and you can’t resist reading their hashtag-laden milestone updates while you eat cold pizza for breakfast alone on your bedroom floor? So then imagine a couple deciding to make music together, lamesville right? Sonny and Cher barely pulled it off*. Well, Ummagma are one cool pairing you’ll wish you were like.
The Canadian-Ukrainian duo – Shauna McLarnon and Alexx Kretov – met in Moscow, at a concert no less, and instantly connected over their love of music. Before long they were making sweet sweet love and sweet sweet tunes, with a style as eclectic as their cultural backgrounds. Across an album, or even a single song, they can traverse dreampop; indie rock; shoegaze and ethereal ambience; prog, post and folk-rock; synthpop; jazz or electronica.
Canadian-Ukrainian duo Ummagma make music together. They’re also in love. Without any cheesiness, they’ve delivered a real unique brand of progressive ambience.
Equally prolific as they are diverse, they released two debut albums simultaneously in mid 2012, Ummagma and Antigravity. In 2013, they won the Alternative Eurovision for Ukraine, as well as recognition in Australia by taking home two Australian Independent Music Video Awards before releasing the Rotation/Live and Let Die single. 2014 is looking to be equally eventful, with plans to put out three LPs including Lama in May, a 7” single, a joint LP with Moscow’s Sounds of Sputnik, and a collaboration with Swervedriver and Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Graham Bonnar.
Ummagma’s sound can range from lush to lo-fi and upbeat to melancholic in navigating through their unique brand of dreamgaze power pop, tied together with the otherworldly, spacey foundation that is laced through most of their work. Intense and richly layered, McLarnon’s delicate airy voice floats above Kretov’s mesmerizing soundscapes of guitar, synths, beats, effects and resonance, the lyrics ever optimistic. Described by Rolling Stone as a “full kaleidoscope of sounds”, Ummagma is intricate bliss, where not one colour seems out of place.
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