The Ummagma duo of Alexx Kretov and Shauna McLarnon teamed up this winter with famed 4AD recording artist A.R. Kane to release the Winter Tale single. The combination of Ummagma’s ethereal, modern tinged shoegaze with A.R. Kane’s dream pop is a match made in heaven. This is perfect music to grab your favorite mug filled with coffee or hot cocoa, your comfiest blanket to huddle up under, and put your headphones on and relax. This is modern shoegaze at its finest and McLarnon’s delicately smooth vocals set Ummagma above the competition.
If you’re looking for more Ummagma you should check out their album Frequency that came out in 2015. It is more of a mental escape than an album to me. It’s one of those rare records that you can put on, close your eyes, and let yourself be carried away by the music from start to finish. There are no jarring tracks that don’t flow with the rest of the work. It’s a well thought out, well produced, atmosphere driven masterwork. If you’ve not heard their track Lama then you’re in for a treat (check it out below). What’s so great about Ummagma is that nobody, and I repeat nobody, is making music like this. They’re paving their own way in a music industry that shuns innovation and that’s very refreshing.
A.R. Kane were pioneers in the 1980’s, combining an eclectic mix of sounds to create their own unique dream pop sound. Their vapor trail style of echoing guitars created sonic landscapes that pushed forward what bands like The Jesus and Mary Chain and Cocteau Twins were doing. What set A.R. Kane apart was their fusion of other styles with their music….they were avant garde and didn’t mind challenging the status quo of what could be “commercial”. It’s something that’s been sorely missing in today’s music and it’s good news that they’re back on the scene after such a long hiatus.
You’ve got some homework to do after you get done reading. If you’re not already a fan of Ummagma, you’re going to be. Don’t worry, they’ve got tons of material for you to buy and check out. Follow up as well with A.R. Kane if you’re not aware of their legendary work in the 1980’s. They influenced more bands than I could possibly mention and I’m glad to see their name in print again. Don’t let the music stop here. If you like what you hear then tell a friend, and then another friend. Music as a shared experience can be life defining and this is music worth that distinction.
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