We celebrate the release of Ummagma’s new EP ‘Frequency which you can listen to here.
The band are a very 21st century concept. An international cross border, cross music duo who are not trapped by any borders or tradition and create an ethereal and perfect dream pop that is enthralling and entrancing.
We blend dreampop, prog rock, post-rock, ethereal, nugaze & post-punk within intense landscapes, gossamer vocals and pulsating beats. This Canadian-Ukrainian duo of Alexx Kretov & Shauna McLarnon began in Moscow as an affair with love and sound and has blossomed across borders.
We are Ummagma – that’s me, Shauna McLarnon, and also my dear muse and masterplan man Alexx Kretov. When we put this EP together, we had originally envisioned something different – we added songs, cut songs and finally decided that, just as with our previous releases, we needed to more solidly focus on a specific feeling – the feeling we have been experiencing over the past half-year or so, since reuniting. War does a number on someone’s head – Alexx had been stuck in Ukraine and barely missed the draft (it arrived two weeks after leaving the country), while we (my daughter and I) had managed to get out 8 months earlier thanks to a timely purchase of our most prized music possession – a classic 1964 Fender Jag – by one unnamed Cocteau Twin and some quick CD sales :) But when we finally came together again with Alexx’s arrival in Canada, waves of bliss washed over us, confusion surrounded us, and we both needed healing.
Their ‘Frequency’ EP features 3 fantastic remixes of ‘Lama’ – by Malcolm Holmes (of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark), Marc Joy (of Lights That Change), and Robin Guthrie (of Cocteau Twins and Violet Indiana).
Tracks by track break down.
This song is about timelessness and the feeling that you get when you finally know you are with the right person. It’s about choices and the steadfastness in love to decide on doing something, and just being with someone regardless of what is thrown at you. In our case, we have an international relationship, so it has always been a choice to do this unconditionally of where we happen to be living at any point in time.
Lyrics: “Cosmic lover / Made up my mind / I’m not going home / This is where I’ll stay / With you / Long as you’ll be here / So will I / In our space / In our space
Orion is closer / Now than ever / Get to know the universe / Around us / I can feel your movement / When I see you / Every morning / Every moment / Every motion / Whenever we drift away
This song is about the tendency many of us have to feel we are trapped in a vicious cycle, often involving such things as making mistakes, repeating those mistakes, doubting yourself, feeling unable to choose or make the right choices, and then feeling guilty about those choices. For me, the first step out of this was realizing that I am not alone and that I alone am responsible for creating (and able to shape) my own destiny.
Lyrics: Sorry how I slide / All the way down low / All the way so can’t even find me
Funny how I fly / In the thick of rules / In the thick, does nothing but bind me
Hard to say but time to say it / Running in circles chasing your own tail / Hard to say but time to say it / Time to make time for making your own way
Not alone, not living in solace / On my road and this one is toll-less / No no no don’t say to me
You’re on your own in loneness / Not quite so, no you’re never alone no
We actually wrote the rough draft of this on our last Christmas Day together (the one before this), but then the words came much later and all that tweeking and layering. The key thing here is that we’ve captured the pure and innocent spirit of that special holiday, even if the words themselves have nothing to do with such festivities. For us, in any case, this festive spirit is really all about a feeling anyways. This is a song of reflection about how limited our time is and how the here and now concept never sounded so good, especially when ultimately everything could wane – including one’s desires.
Lyrics: Feast your sights, why all the waiting / oh no / come to say, might just drive to tears / all pure sight, no point in waiting / no wait for the light / no wait for your heart flow / no wait, for your ice is melting
All lose time watching and waiting / so much time just waiting and wanting / All to the side, the waiting and wanting / To want to be upside, to want to be onside / I wanted to say to you / wanted to run to you / wanted by your side / I want to this one time / I want to in this life /
Don’t dare you just wait till you die / all your desires gone in time
All lose time wanting and waiting / so much time waiting and wanting / the wanting
Hard to sit by, feeling it’s nigh / just haunting / one two times, alright and then it’s all / hourglass knows it’s time and then it falls
Frequency by Ummagma
This is an instrumental, so obviously no commentary is needed on lyrics :) Alexx composed this one on his own and I totally cried for joy upon hearing it the first time. He didn’t want to show it to me until is was perfect, so he mainly worked on it with headphones and saved much of the fine tweaking at the end. For some time, I was asking him if he wanted to call the song Caledonia, but no… he, as the composer, had his own vision of what this song embodies and it is indeed the limitlessness of space and the beauty encountered along such explorations.
Here comes our dreamery – of course neither Ukraine nor Canada are within reach of a warm ocean zone, but we both are totally in love with this idea of a warm and peaceful restorative and inspiring ocean experience. We’ve both had this twice together while visiting Crete. We long for that, of course, and likely always will do.
Lyrics: Out drifting on a cloud / You wake up, wake up your own / swallow, castles in the sand / Wake up, wake up
3. Winter Tale
5. Ocean Girl
6. Lama (Robin Guthrie Remix)
7. Lama (Malcolm Holmes’ OMD Remix)
8. Lama (Lights that Change Remix)