Ummagma – a Canadian-Ukrainian duo comprised of Alexander Kretov and Shauna McLarnon – deliver an eclectic yet harmonious potpourri of alt pop, dreampop, post-rock, post-punk, ambient/ethereal, shoegaze and space rock, bringing sublime resonance, beats and rhythm to create dreamy soundscapes. They blend their love of synthpop, alt-rock and electronica to create their own unique brand of "dreamgaze” power pop. McLarnon’s delicate airy gossamer-like vocals often draw comparisons to Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins fame with glimmers of Stereolab, The Sundays, Curve, Nathalie Merchant and Slowdive. Kretov's spellbinding potion of guitar, vocals, synths, beats, programming & effects create an impeccable soundscape with elements of Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Bill Nelson and Brian Eno to help the listener take flight.
In May, Ummagma won the 2013 Alternative Eurovision, hosted by Amazing Radio, representing Ukraine from amongst 21 countries, and has held steadily in the Scottish New Music Chart and NYC’s Indie Darkroom (WNYZ) Chart since August 2012 (and are still charting). In November, the duo received 2 awards at the 2013 Australian Independent Music Video Awards (Best International Pop Video and Best East European Video), and have also caught the attention of Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins/ Violet Indiana), who has remixed a track for a forthcoming 2014 release, and Graham Bonnar (Swervedriver/ Brian Jonestown Massacre), with whom they are collaborating on several tracks.
Ummagma are a rare commodity in today's music scene: deliciously diverse, dreamy, and loaded with positivity. Since exploding onto the underground music scene in 2012 with 2 independently released full-length LPs – "Ummagma" and "Antigravity" – the duo has been blazing a colourful, yet eclectic, path forward, with over 350 unique articles and rave reviews from the likes of Noiselab, Rolling Stone, Echoes and Dust, The VPME, AltSounds, Sounds Better With Reverb, The Sound of Confusion and WaveMaker Magazine. The 2 albums tied as the #3 Best Album of 2012 in After Pop Magazine, ranked in the top 20 for Rock XS Radio and #21 in Sloucher Zine. In May, Ummagma released the "Split" EP, together with Finland's Virta, on the Som Non-Label and is releasing the double A-side single "Rotation/Live and Let Die" on Emerald & Doreen Recordings on December 9, 2013 as a teaser for several releases forthcoming in 2014.
Ummagma began in 2003 as an affair with love and sound in Moscow, where Alexx and Shauna were living. After meeting at an acoustic guitar concert, their relationship developed into a marriage and the musical partnership we know today as Ummagma. Until then, Shauna was mainly singing acapella and working with various Moscow musicians, while Alexx was a solo guitarist experimenting with home recording.
Alexx handles composition, all instruments, arrangement and vocals, as well as recording, mixing, mastering. and video editing. Shauna McLarnon deals with vocals, composition, lyrics and band management. Alexx is from Kremenets (Western Ukraine) and Shauna is from Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). For Alexx, making music began in childhood following the collapse of the USSR. Shauna began songwriting with solo compositions while studying and working in Russia's Siberia, Moscow and northern Canada. They currently live in western Ukraine with their daughter Nika, working in their studio, where Alexx also records and produces other artists’ work.
Ummagma offers a soundtrack of reverie for both trailblazers and stargazers. Despite the fact that their music encompasses several music genres, it has a common remarkable theme, elevating and stirring effect. Apart from those mentioned above, elements of Ummagma's music are oftenlikened to Talk Talk, Ultravox, Broadcast, Mew, Sigur Ros, Air, Lush, Rumskib, Arcade Fire, Pink Floyd, Michael Brook, Mercury Rev, Snow Patrol, Exitmusic and Bowery Electric, but listeners will find an unmistakable sound truly unique to Ummagma.
In the first half of 2014, you can expect several Ummagma LPs to be released on Emerald & Doreen Recordings, a joint LP with Sounds of Sputnik on Ear to Ear Records, an array of new remixes and videos, including one by Brazil's award winning Dimitry Uziel. Ummagma will also release a full-length LP and the remix by Robin Guthrie towards mid-2014.
UMMAGMA HIGHLIGHTS (since late July 2012)
Winner of the 2013 Alternative Eurovision held by Amazing Radio
Rolling Stone Russia full-page feature
Received 2 awards, including Best International Pop Video at the Australian Independent Music Video Awards
Band of the Month for December 2013 on Ozivit Music
Band of the Year 2013 on Shoegaze Love
Band of the Month for December 2013 on Ozivit Music
'1+1=3' TOP-5 single of 2013 in Mudkiss Magazine
'Rotation/ Live & Let Die' TOP-10 Release of 2013 in The Record Stache
'Rotation' #4 best single in El Blog Del Bam and Top December single in Shoegazer Alive
'Rotation' #32 in Indie-stry Podcast
'Lama (Jane Woodman Remix)' among Top 50 songs of 2013 in Shoegazer Alive
'Rotation' in TOP-100 singles of 2013 in Bynar's Indie Disco
'Rotation' in Hot Top Ten for November in Little Indie Blogs
Ummagma #81 on the New Year Ninety 2014 in Emerging Indie Bands Blog
Band of the Week in December 2013 on Shoegaze Love
Band of the Week in August 2013 on The Social Radio
2 debut albums tie as No3 Best Album of 2012 in After Pop Magazine
No1 Unsigned Artist on Forkster Rocks It Out from July-Oct 2012
No3 Best Albums of 2012 in Peru Avantgarde
No3 Top Unsigned Artist of 2012 on Forkster Rocks It Out
No4 and No5 Best Songs of 2012 according to Forkster Rocks It Out
Antigravity No6 top dreampop album of 2012 by Shoegazer Alive
Antigravity No20 top album of 2012 by Rock XS Radio
Antigravity No21 best album of 2012 by Sloucher Magazine
Editor's Pick of the Week on Echoes & Dust blog
Band of the Month for September 2012 in the Indie Bands Blog
"Live and Let Die” among Top-10 videos of 2012 according to Twenty-goto-Ten
In the Scottish New Music Chart from Aug. to Dec. 2013 (up to No3)
In NY’s Indie Darkroom Chart from July through Dec. 2013 (up to No1, now No2)
No1 indie alternative band for Ukraine in the Reverbnation charts
Nominee for CBC Radio Canada’s "Rookie of the Year” Bucky Award 2012
350+ unique press articles on Ummagma in 30 countries
Radio airplay in 30+ countries
Music featured on 24+ compilations & 300+ mixtapes/podcasts