Ukraine, 2020, Ukrainian folk / folk pop

ДахаБраха (DakhaBrakha)Alambari

After falling in love with the mysterious, tribal rhythms of На межі, I was not at all expecting a soul jazz album in which the ladies sing, in cabaret fashion, “baby baby”. I almost turned it off when I first heard it; that’s how much it defied my expectations. But I’m glad I stuck it out because this album is brilliant. It’s okay for bands to do things I’m not expecting. I could see this album performed on a stage—it’s just so theatrical, especially the call-and-response vocal harmonies. Alternating spotlights, please, for the cabaret swagger and for the stationary arias. I’ve always had the suspicion that accordions are sexy. This recording confirms my suspicion. Just enough of that Ukrainian folk, too, to keep things spicy.

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