Shoegaze is becoming more and more relevant. Not only in the Indie and Electronic scene but in the music scene in general. Why? Because it’s not only creative but thoughtful. And that is what Ummagma’s new album, “Frequency” is. It’s a sonic canvas with the beginnings of a masterpiece that is waiting for your mind to interpret. Reflective yet provocative, Ummagma delivers a steady stream of dream with a solid album from track to track with the effervescence of youth and the audacity of experience.
About Ummagma & “Frequency”:
Ummagma consists of Shauna McLarnon, who hails from Canada’s Yukon, and Alexander Kretov, who is from Ukraine. Since bursting onto the music scene in 2012, they have made a significant impact on the underground music scene. Their potent combination of uplifting and melancholic textured dreampop, shoegaze, postpunk, ambient and electronica rapidly gained them a sizeable international following despite the numerous issues they faced living between Canada and Ukraine.
‘Frequency’ follows the band’s two debut LPs ‘Antigravity’ and ‘Ummagma’, which were simultaneously released in 2012. This release represents a slight departure from the first two albums, which whisked the listener through the romanticism of first meetings, big love, adventures abroad and optimistic dreaming through to the realities of birth, loss, death and departure. In contrast, ‘Frequency’ explores such themes as space and distance, timelessness, escapism, and the search for tranquility.
Canadian-Ukrainian duo Ummagma have blazed quite a trail for themselves in their short history. They’ve landed press coverage and radio play in more than 50 countries, including Rolling Stone Russia, and have managed to strike an endearing chord with a good number of ‘first wave’ shoegaze and dreampop artists, particularly from Creation Records and early 4AD rosters.
“Ummagma have something very special about them that you don’t find in many bands, that is an honest, believable & beautiful lyric delivered by an honest, believable & beautiful voice,” says Malcolm Holmes of OMD. “When you combine this with the swirling ambience of lush layered guitars, this duo end up with their own unique sonic landscape.”
“This new release feels like a farewell kiss to a dear friend while, at the same time, embracing new horizons. Our music always reflects what is happening in our lives and, as we have left Ukraine for Canada because of the war happening there, this also means new beginnings. Now we are searching for new grounding, and still questioning everything we’ve just been through in the past few years. This comes out in this music. There is light here – now we must grow it and spread it,” explains Ummagma vocalist Shauna McLarnon.
While Ummagma may have been influenced by the likes of Cocteau Twins, David Sylvian, Peter Gabriel, The Sundays, Pink Floyd and Slowdive, they don’t immediately wear their influences on their sleeve. They have their own beautiful and unmistakeable sound and lead you on sonic trips and awesome detours. Ultimately they tell a story in an aesthetic that is wonderfully unique, invigorating and absolutely loaded with hope.
“This is a really brilliant post-rocky shoegazey woozy ambient thing. It’s absolutely beautiful” – Dani Charlton, Amazing Radio
“Ummagma’s music is very powerful, very dreamy – right on the mark. This led us to work together on their collaboration with Sounds of Sputnik. Very cool this new EP. The calibre of the producers they’re working with here is a definite mark of approval” – Graham Bonnar (Swervedriver, Brian Jonestown Massacre)
“Although all due heed is paid to the original, you’ll find all the hallmarks of the 80s synth pioneers in the OMD remix. At its heart are the subtle throb of the sequenced synthesiser and the smack of electronic drums, sounding so authentic you’d swear Holmes had made it on the same gear such classics as ‘Souvenier’ and ‘Enola Gay’ were forged on” – Electronic Sound Magazine
“Back in 2013, Dani Charlton crowned them the winners of the Alternative Eurovision. A really nice breathy bit of electronic postrock dreampop postrock and a bit of shoegaze in there as well. Definitely a lot of reverb. Loving that – well up my street” – Shell Zenner, Amazing Radio
“I love the sound, the emotion, the clean cool space. If Underworld or Chemical Bros did Lama, it would be proclaimed an instant classic” – A.R. Kane
“This is really very cosmic music. Made of stardust. I particularly like Ummagma, whose magical sounds will touch you or you have no heart!” – Joe Foster (Creation Records)
“Ummagma are at the forefront of new shoegaze and dreampop… lifts you gently weightless into orbit, suspended in a sea of twinkling synthesizer stars…a first class ticket into hyperspace” – UK producer Fran Ashcroft (Damon Albarn, Lords of Acid)
“A nice slice of electronic pop with a psych folk twist” – Ray Dickaty (Spiritualized)