EP: UBYK – Matryoshka (no label 2008)

Ubyk are a duo from Los Angeles consisting of Roman Bleum and Samantha Tobey. Matryoshka is their debut release, a five track collection of psyche-tinged acoustic pieces. The instrumentation is stripped down and simple, which allows the voices to carry the melodies. And it’s the interplay between the two singers which is the group’s strongest suit. This is most apparent on the title (and best) track, a waltz with a glorious chorus.

“Work” and “Merry Go Round” both have an air of psychedelic whimsy redolent of the folkier elements of English bands like Barrett-era Pink Floyd or the Zombies, with a dash of the Mamas and the Papas’ harmonies thrown in. The epic “Delicate Swarm” is multi-tracked within an inch of its life, with layers upon layers of acoustic guitars overlaid by voices that phase in and phase out. It could all get too much, but just about hangs together, although the mix feels a bit awkward. It is a good song. Indeed, the only misstep is “Just Fine” which comes across as uninspired acoustic indie-by-numbers. Significantly, it’s also the only track where the vocal interplay is missing. On the whole this is a very good EP that shows a lot of promise.

1 Matryoshka 3:53
2 Work 4:23
3 Just Fine 3:51
4 Merry Go Round 2:56
5 Delicate Swarm 5:31




One response to “EP: UBYK – Matryoshka (no label 2008)

  1. I have a promo of this too. Was hooked the moment they mentioned Alex Newport produced it. Very cleverly arranged songs in my opinion, endlessly listenable. ‘Wokr’ captures everything i hate about having to go to a job — the clocks, the time spent not doing what i want, the monotony!

    Distinctive stuff indeed

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s