[sic] Magazine

First Glances – Ummagma

Type it wrongly and you’ll get a Pink Floyd album but Ummagma are, in fact, an ‘East meets West’ dreampop duo. Multi-instrumentalist Alexander Kretov is Ukrainian while predominant singer Shauna McLarnon hails from the Canadian Yukon. Eclectic? That’s not the half of it. While they clearly fall into the spectrum of dreampop their own musical Venn diagram touches a good deal more.

Ummagma are a ‘First Glance’ for us as we’ve never featured the band previously in [sic] magazines’ hallowed hallways. Yet they are not new per se having been active since at least 2012. The duo have the distinction of having released two debut albums! I will not claim that this is unique in music history but it’s the first instance that I can recall.

Like a good Tiki cocktail Ummagma are a deceptively heady brew. McLarnon recalls the sugar sweetness of the shoegazer scene (Miki Berenyi, Sara Blackwood etc) as well as the laid back neutrality of Lætitia Sadier and the late, great Trish Keenan (Of Stereolab and Broadcast respectively) Musical arrangements provide both acidity and punch. The work of Cocteau Twins during their Fontana label years looms largest of all. It comes as no surprise that the pair were keen to work with Dean Garcia of Curve and Cocteaus legend Robin Guthrie on their recent EP LCD. Yet we cannot peg Ummagma solely as dreampop. Myriad musical styles encompass World Music (ref the tribal drumming that kicks off new single ‘Caravan’) as well as dub, jazz and even lounge (see b-side ‘Ty i Ya’)

Keep tabs on these two.

Here’s ‘Galicticon’ which, like ‘Caravan’ will appear on the duo’s up-coming album Compass. Shades of Hammock on this one, methinks. The brand new video for ‘Caravan’ is also included.

Compass is out this June.