Updated: Sep 5, 2021
Birthed on a theatre stage in Kyiv, Ukraine comes a special group bringing with them a sound so original and rhythmic that the entire world is dancing along without knowing what the lyrics mean.
Created by the legendary theatre director Vladyslav Troitskyi in 2004, this quartet breathes new life into traditional Ukrainian folk music with experimentation that gravitates towards generations young and old.
It is the group's ability to capture the audience's intrigue immediately and pull them into a whirlwind of culture influenced by the entire world that is most impressive.
Maybe the reason this group is so widely accepted is that they pay such homage to other nations' art as much as their own native home.
Regardless of why DakhaBrakha is so popular, they manage their success humbly and with gratitude for their positive worldwide reception.
The quartet consists of Marko Halanevych, Iryna Kovalenko, Olena Tsybulska, and Nina Garenetska who all bring powerful and versatile vocals to the arrangement while taking their wide array of chosen instruments to the brink of what is possible and back again.
This international touring band masters instrumentation from cultures foreign to them while successfully infusing their own melodic genus in a way that elevates all, unified under the common emotions stirred.
This band is capable of taking any venue and making it their own, causing the audience to break into a frenzy from the gratification of their musical enlightenment.
Every time DakhaBrakha gets on stage, their true home, they conjure up spirits of melody that soar into the hearts of those lucky enough to be exposed to this revolutionary group.
They are comfortable playing to any crowd be it intimate and quaint like NPR's Tiny Desk or the temperamental sea that is a Bonnaroo audience.
No matter the atmosphere this group of internationally recognized and celebrated musicians take the listener on a journey unknowingly longed for.
When approaching DakhaBrakha's musical catalogue you have two choices.
The first is my recommendation which is to listen in exact chronological order, album by album, and song by song. This way you understand the journey and evolution with your own perspective and takeaways.
Your second option is to experience a sample of what they are capable of and the best way to do that is with 2010's Light. With this album choice, you can experience their past while still having an uncertain grasp on their future.
Take for example the song "Tjolky" which begins with an almost unnerving eeriness bringing with it a sense of anxiety from a distant siren. The cello at the ten-second mark then pulls you inward while simultaneously paving the way for the initial vocals. The rising action is too great to turn away from and by a mere 34 seconds in you are bathed in the angelic and inspiring backup vocal work that draws you in completely with no escape.
Regardless of how you decide to approach the band's music, you will eventually come to the album Alambari. It begins with the song Dostochka, a blue and sombre number that immediately brings on the full weight of your soul. The piano takes the focus at the 3:30 mark with an almost abrupt but welcomed entrance however it is once again the vocals that take charge despite the commanding grasp of their instruments.
Another point to note on the album would be Marko Halanevych's vocal experimentation in particular. The entire group has showcased what the human voice can do and how versatile the band truly is before, but Alambari's second track Vynnaya Ya is the greatest example of a unique adaptation of something as timeless as song.
On the whole, this group is the finest example of artistic innovation alive today.
The music of DakhaBrakha is as culturally enlightening as it is inspiring.
Their command on melody and creation itself is beyond the rest of what is happening in the music industry. The ability to manoeuvre within genres hasn't been done to this extreme before and thankfully the world is beginning to take note as their global popularity rises.
With an in-demand sound and a rising fan base, the future for DakhaBrakha is one of destined greatness and historic achievement.
Fans of all genres are finding themselves drawn to the quartet because of their relevance to such a wide variety of musical directions.
Experimental yes, but polished like the shoes of a rich narcissist and ready to dominate the airwaves of every country bold enough to take the leap.
This is a band with rich musical importance that is truly taking their art into the furthest reaches of possibility. DakhaBrakha is not just contributing to multiple musical genres but expanding and enlightening each with their songs, like a torch guiding the way through the dark they are the main focus. The clearest example of what modern creativity is capable of sounding like.