Title: Matryoshka EP
Catalogue Number: No catalogue number
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2008
First, let us tell you a bit about this band as you will most likely never have heard of them. Well, Ubyk is made up of two singer songwriters - Roman Bleum and Samantha Tobey - whose ambition "is to bring the anomic state of the world to the forefront of the listener's consciousness". Damned if the Bluesbunny knows what that means but we have ears and we mean to use them to find out.
Without further ado, we shall turn to the music and to our less than humble opinion on it. Well, the first thing of note is that this is stylish stuff. It is almost über cool in fact, much like a Michael Legrand soundtrack. Think of the film The Thomas Crown Affair. Not the styleless remake with Pierce Brosnan but the classy sixties original with Steve McQueen and the delicious Faye Dunaway. Don't mistake this album for a collection of musical cues though as these are proper songs but you can just imagine the visuals that would go with them. "Delicate swarm", with its intertwining voices, would be a long tracking shot of a hot air balloon. "Just Fine" with its "…everything is perfect" refrain would sit nicely over the credits to the Stepford Wives. Again, the harmonies give a serene quality that disguises the anguish of the lyrics. "Merry Go Round" is simply enchanting with a fairytale feel. "Work" was initially confusing with that super smooth production hiding what is actually social commentary on the emptiness of our lives and the danger that conformity is to our collective soul.
That's the clever thing about this album. It washes over you in a highly polished fashion - but not so much so that it would be mistaken for background music - but the attention to detail is there as well with the lyrics being a remarkably good compromise between perceptive and poetic. A very promising debut.
Available by worldwide mail order from CD Baby.
April 24, 2008
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