Hindu — Scars (2019)

A Black Rebel Motorcycle Club fan, she visited 15 concerts in 10 years. Starting as a shoegaze diva with the Fender Jaguar, she played not only in Britain, Tunisia but (attention!) in New York. Her tracks emerge on the same label with Yoko Ono and Moby. So, she was abroad: a reason to notice her.

Hindu is a solo project of Tetyana Yankovska, former member of the bands Preslee and Devil Race. She "dealt with recording and mixing tracks" by herself (quote from Cultprostir), went on the London-based imprint RMN Music, and later – on the Californian one called Manimal Vinyl, releasing "Spark" EP, singles "There To Fight", "Brighton", "Gorgeous", "Weakest Spot", "The Only Way To Know" and, later, — "Spark" B-sides. Finally, on March, 29, 2019 Tetyana presents the album "Scars", which includes singles, released earlier, and old but new tracks. She uses Roland SP-404SX lopper – the same Grimes used, and Microkorg synthesizer, favorable by Ukrainian musicians. In home studio conditions she uses midi-keyboard Akai MPK mini, Novation Bass Station synth, laptop with the Ableton and AKG headphones

As for 2008, she was, if not the only local, let’s say, Bilinda Butcher. The band Preslee combined shoegaze guitar effects with the transparency of the Oasis-like brit pop. Tetyana held guitar and sang in Ukrainian with the crispy distortion on the vocal. The lyrics of "1st" LP, each song of which is a hit, is an absolute spring and relationships’ unsureness, fades from early love to the mature one. Those times were dominated by a heavy music, so "1st" was a hard to notice feather, though, musicians played live at the channel M1 and in the world context were on the indie-rock wave. Preslee was left as a mysterious pearl of Ukrainian alternative scene today, and Tetyana’s voice in the band is the essence of tenderness and patience, blown around by the attentive instrumental support. By the way, the last hidden English track on the "1st" LP can be a prelude to the Hindu project.

From the first song of the "Scars" LP a beautiful stylized studio work rises in attention, an excellent English pronunciation, and the manner of singing following the style of the good known for music lovers of 2012, Grimes. It’s easy to notice layering and vocal pieces sampling, along to long reverb tails. In this similarity the instrumental part also plays a role: soft drums and tender synths, typical for the transition stage of the Canadian’s oeuvre: from the underground to the mainstream, from less dance music to, a kind of, music for lounge zones.

However, with the "Brighton" track acoustic instruments emerge, recorded with the exceptionally good quality – a rare thing for a local artist. And the video is total enjoyment: lady in red, the whirlpool of unusual air sculptures near the ocean bank — this fairy tale was filmed with just an iPhone 6s.

The "Scars" album was released with the support of LA-based label Manimal Vynil, which releases the works of such known names, as Yoko Ono, Moby, Bat for Lashes and IC3PEAK. The last mentioned can be count for a dark comparation with Hindu, in fact, in this case Tetyana’s vocal has similar qualities. The label’s Soundcloud page clearly illustrates it tries to find new modern pop-sound with its releases, or, at least, gives to listeners the broadest picture of today.

The vocal of "Scars" LP is sweetened, tastes like a bubble gum from a childhood. The album’s theme and mood can be described by the quote "Please, daddy, take me home" from the "Phone Sex" song – a collaborative creature of Blood Diamonds and Grimes. There’s impression that the album’s heroine wants to become child again, to dive into the world of Disney and Barbie. Of course, it’s a great way to find one’s true essence in naïve kid’s happy things. Sometimes one wants to get weaker, to flow together with the air or become invisible. Tetyana’s voice dissolves in a midair, rises to clouds, and tenderly asks for the angels’ support.

In "There to Fight" the vocal melody reminds traditional motives of the Zaporizhian band Mandarinaduck. A new mood emerges afterwards: sureness appears and making plans, as if, "first we’ll take some ice-cream, then – visit a theatre and after it we’ll cook a pizza". It’s about the song "A Sign That I Will Miss". Assertively-tender recitative replies to the harmonies, similar to the Joy Division’s "Atmosphere" and brings the feeling of completeness, starting of some changes and new beginnings. In a word, exceptional track.

The music video of "Gorgeous" shows Kyiv’s architecture and young people walking around. If starting from the phrase "I think you’re gorgeous", one can think about the admiration of teenagers, as a young one is always beautiful. At the same time, Tetyana sings leaning on the street mosaics and supports #SaveKyivModernism with her attention – a movement for saving the beauty of Kyiv. In the periods of forgetting the architectural heritage, fixating buildings on video helps to emphasize their value.

The catchiest pop song is "The Only Way To Know", which captures the mind by the mentioned chorus phrase along to the marching rhythmicity and the distinctness of every word’s pronunciation with the pulse of bass and snare drums. The sound reminds Ladytron and, in a certain way, Eurhythmics. As for "Hail Night", it blows with the Beach Fossils – Adversity’s melodic, a dialogue of the acoustic bass and guitar. A listener nods his head to the compact drums unintentionally. As for the "Weakest Spot" – it’s a dark pop-story that easily can fit the parties of the Closer club.

A lot of tracks from the album sound like pulled up draft pieces. It’s good enough for the anthology album – a term, that seem close to "Scars", as it includes works of different periods. It’s a normal approach: as Brian Eno said to one of his colleagues: "You enter the restaurant: it’s so clean, accurate tables, calmness around, waiters walk slowly. Take a step into the kitchen: truly a mare’s nest: dishes fly, the products are thrown into a patina, in a word, extraordinary chaos, which results into a beautiful dish. This is the way we’ll make an album".

Having the taste receptors for the stylizing of music, which Tetyana often uses, one can make full interesting song even from the minimum scratch. Though, they say, less is more, one should be able to extract only the most necessary. For example, the synthesizers in the "Hail Night" obscure beautiful guitars, but, probably, their presence should be narrowed softly.

Tetyana Hindu is the one of desirable candidates for participating in the Against the Clock show from the FACT Magazine, quiet, as a musician she evolves, trying different forms of workflow, genre and live performance. 

You can listen to a new album "Scars" on the different stream services.

The opinions expressed in the reviews convey the views of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of Neformat.com.ua

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1. Scars
2. Brighton
3. Shroud
4. There to Fight
5. A Sign That I Will Miss
6. Gorgeous
7. Bad Things
8. The Only Way to Know
9. Crueler Each Morning
10. Hail the Night
11. Weakest Spot
12. Lights On