Ubyk offer something a little different in the world of acoustic rock. Their music is simplicity itself, often consisting of just plucked guitar strings and the echoing vocals of songwriters Roman Bleum and Samantha Tobey. With the Russian-born Bleum providing the the breathy melancholic tones and Tobey bringing a narcotic sweetness to the table, together they have crafted five songs which remind me of Low.
The title song to ‘Matryoshka’ sets the scene for twenty minutes of understated miserablism. It is in fact the most hopeful song here thanks to Tobey’s heavenly intonations. ‘Work, Work, Work’ is one of their relatively complicated tracks; even using samples of an alarm clock and some weird keyboard noises. It documents the futility of the working life; literally wheezing and sighing to a halt as the song comes to a close. Events don’t get any happier on the next track ‘Just Fine’ either, with the subject matter and harmonies almost suffocatingly bleak. Naturally the title is ironic. It’s no surprise that ‘Merry Go Round’ captures similar feelings of relentless doom but its harmonies are pretty and psychedelic. Yet despite the almost depressing mood of the record, Ubyk have hit on a strangely hypnotic and intoxicating formula that still attracts after several listens.
Bridge And Tunnel, Low