Canadian-Ukrainian duo Ummagma have confirmed details for the UK release of their EP ‘Frequency’. This mini-album will be available through Raphalite Records and is slated for release on November 13th. Alongside five original tracks, the EP features remixes from Cocteau Twins legend Robin Guthrie, Wales’ celebrated Lights That Change, and Malcolm Holmes of Orchestral Maneouvres in the Dark (OMD).
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.
3. Winter Tale
5. Ocean Girl
6. Lama (Robin Guthrie Remix)
7. Lama (Malcolm Holmes’ OMD Remix)
8. Lama (Lights that Change Remix)