Best Albums of 2014
as selected by Alex Bondarenko

Epolets <BR>“Dogma”


One of the best young Ukrainian alternative rock bands from Odessa. Played hundreds of gigs as a cover band but decided to make their own music. Epolets’ latest album “Dogma” will be available in two languages – English and Ukrainian.

♪♫ Listen: “No More

Epolets on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud.

Sinoptik <BR>“16/58”


Band from Donetsk, Ukraine. Sinoptik plays heavy alternative rock with huge psychedelic part. One of the best live bands in Ukraine also totally underrated in media. The latest album “16/58” was made in a studio which is currently being destroyed by shelling.

♪♫ Listen: “Give Me Your Hand

Sinoptik on Facebook, VK, Soundcloud, Twitter.

Somali Yacht Club <BR>“The Sun”

Somali Yacht Club
“The Sun”

Stoner, psychedelic rock-band from Lviv, Western Ukraine. Unpredictably for themselves appeared almost in all ratings of the best albums of the year either alternative or pop. Their music is far from mainstream but it’s done so well that everyone understands they are great and honest musicians.

♪♫ Listen: “Up In The Sky

Somali Yacht Club on Bandcamp, Facebook, VK.

Panivalkova <BR>“панівалькова” (Panivalkova) EP

“панівалькова” (Panivalkova) EP

Panivalkova consists of three girls from Kyiv. The trio plays in a very minimalistic manner with a lot of piano sound. They know how to make songs tender and how to work with back vocals. Their debut EP “panivalkova” has turned out one of the most interesting releases in new Ukrainian pop-music recently. “Yesterday” was supposed to appear on their first EP, but it was released a bit later. It is a cover of another Ukrainian band Love’n’Joy and, incidentally, Nina Simone.

♪♫ Listen: “Yesterday

Panivalkova on Soundcloud, Facebook, VK.

Vagonovozhatie (Вагоновожатые) <BR>“Upast’ s tandema” (Упасть с тандема) EP

Vagonovozhatie (Вагоновожатые)
“Upast’ s tandema” (Упасть с тандема) EP

Vagonovozhatie (meaning: Tram Drivers) is an IDM electronic band. They don’t use standard rhythms and vocals. Their music is difficult to apprehend. But you certainly can feel the powerful energy they bring with it on their latest EP, “Upast’ s tandema” (Fall from Tandem).

♪♫ Listen: Упасть с тандема

Vagonovozhatie on Soundcloud, Facebook, YouTube, VK.

Sophie Villy <BR>“Dress”

Sophie Villy

Sophie Villy – already presented on beehype – is a Georgian-Ukrainian singer. Album “Dress” is maybe the first pop-blues album done in such a high level in Ukraine. Her music is very gentle, even fragile. But while “Dress” is very calm, it’s also confident. And it’s hard to believe this album was done in Ukraine, not in New York or Los Angeles.

♪♫ Listen: “Dude

Sophie Villy on Facebook, Twitter, VKontakte, YouTube, www.

Fontaliza <BR>“Under The Floor”

“Under The Floor”

Fontaliza became the sensation of this year in Ukraine when they became guests of the band Okean Elzy’s concert on the biggest Ukrainian Stadium “Olimpiyskiy”. That concert gathered more than 70,000 people. All the songs from their new album, “Under The Floor” are in English. They play classic alternative rock with a tangible influence of Nirvana and Muse.

♪♫ Listen: “Spineless and Sublime

Fontaliza on Soundcloud, Facebook, VK, Twitter, YouTube.

Jamala <BR>“Thank You” EP

“Thank You” EP

Jamala is a famous Ukrainian pop-singer. But in 2014 she decided to change her music preferences and began to make electro-pop. The Maneken, one of the most famous Ukrainian electro musicians, became the sound producer of her EP “Thank You”. Jamala’s first single, “”Zaplutalas”, is a profound song about inner world of the woman in hard conditions.

♪♫ Listen: “Zaplutalas

Jamala on Soundcloud, VK, Facebook, www.

Onuka <BR>“Onuka”


Onuka’s peculiarity lies in using modern electro sound with traditional Ukrainian instruments. Her debut album, simply titled “Onuka”, is world music with Ukrainian coloring. A lot of musical critics call this project “the hope of Ukrainian pop-music”.

♪♫ Listen: “Misto

Onuka on Soundcloud, Facebook, VK, YouTube.

Zapaska <BR>“Kontur”


Zapaska is an acoustic indie-pop duet from Western Ukraine. They use live-looping technology so that their gigs look more like magic than traditional concert. Their music is strange and difficult but absolutely fascinating. Ukrainian music critics call them the phenomenon of Ukrainian music and I do agree with them.

♪♫ Listen: “Vershnyky

Zapaska on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, www.