It may not only be the best album of the month, but of the whole year too. It’s certainly already one of the best Ukrainian music projects to emerge in 2019.
Palindrom is the project of Lviv hip-hop artist Stepan Glava, also known as Coughing Ed. He is also a member of Chapter 94, a hip-hop band from his stamping ground. However, this current record has no hint of rap. The project started as an experiment. The author didn’t even think about writing tracks in this style, but feedback from the first tracks convinced Glava to continue making music.
About Today, Tomorrow and Yesterday houses 11 tracks featuring elements of post-punk, melancholic synth-pop, a bit of recital, a Stepan Giga cover, and a poem by Ivan Kovalenko. This, of course, is a broad description. If you want to learn more, have a listen – you will be treated to a lot of poetry in spirit, not in form, because in reality it is part of a musical mix. The most accurate metaphor for this album is life itself, such as it is, without unnecessary pathos or outrage. And because of this, the record is very honest.
Palindrom is often compared to the early Skryabin. Before he came to Kyiv, Skryabin was making synth pop and new wave music with influences drawn from Depeche Mode, which is often cited as the best period in his discography. Glava says he doesn’t know why this comparison exists, because he didn’t set out to copy this style or to make covers.
What it means is that Skryabin’s music is so deeply embedded in Ukrainian culture that its influence has become unconscious: cultural heritage from which the next generation of musicians grow. In a cultural context it’s Ukrainians growing up on Ukrainian music, adopting something from the previous generations, without directly quoting them.
Glava himself sees the irony in this and says that he wants to market this with the label “similar to early Skryabin”, but at the same time admits that Kuzma’s music is also on his playlist.
The only negative to this story is that Palindrom has no plans for any concerts just yet. As the artist admits, his vocal abilities are not strong enough to sing at live shows. But he is working on it, and we hope to hear him soon.