It probably isn’t much of a surprise to find a post punk indie rock band from the Ukraine these days. Well, it isn’t to me anyway but there was something different about BRAII and their album “Lovely Dark Things”.
This album is indeed a dark thing with the songs weaving in and out of the shadows of broken hearts and urban dystopia whilst throwing in enough suggestions of spectral influences to make you wonder who actually haunted their musical machine and, while much of the sonic appeal of the album comes from the voice of Oksana Bryzgalova who artfully walks the line between smoky self-confidence and laconic indifference, it is the cascading confusion of fragmented guitars, elemental theatricality and Joy Division style bass rumblings that will soon convince all believers in the health promoting benefits of the genre that the pills of the past are no longer the only musical medicine.
Yet there is something more here than all those references to the bleak sounds of the past. It is something dramatic, perhaps even mystical, in the words and sounds that BRAII produce. It is something that makes their songs resonate even in the light of day and it is that something that scales up their sound into something that might even, one day, fill a stadium.
I like a band that can shine light into the darkness and Braii do just that.
Best song? The rambling and hypnotic “Slipping”.
The verdict? BRAII have songs that stick in the corners of your mind.