Ummagma is a mixture of nature-inspired ambience and electronic beats. With Canadian and Ukrainian backgrounds, this duo consists of Alexx Kretov (composition, instruments, arrangement, recording, vocals) and Shauna McLarnon (vocals, composition, lyrics). Some bands start out small, releasing singles and EPs. Ummagma makes their debut with twin albums, one self-titled and the other named ‘Antigravity.’ That’s a two-dozen song debut! This review will cover the self-titled album.
Slightly psychedelic with a touch of jazz, Also is labeled by fans as “L.A.’s best kept secret.” The band name is said to imply “possibility, open-endedness.” Additionally, the name incites expectation as if to say, But wait, there’s more! And with Also, there’s always something more than what you initially expect.
Founded in 2003, Also is comprised of vocalist/songwriter Drew Conrad, bassist Mark Zelen and drummer Scotland Stephenson. Somewhat pensive with occasional dramatic flair, their sophomore album, released February 2011 is titled Music Belongs in the Background.