After a long absence, The Ukrainians return at full power with this new album.
Respublika is about political struggle, hardship, sadness, rebellion and anarchy. It is also about celebration, joy and freedom. ‘Respublika’ means republic, but the word has had varying shades of meaning at different points in Ukrainian history.
Throughout Ukraine’s traumatic phases of history there has been one constant. Songs. Most of the songs on Respublika are traditional and have influenced Ukrainians for centuries.
The reason these songs continue to be sung is because they stand the test of time. They have a strong resonance in the modern age. Furthermore, the themes of the songs travel across geographical as well as political boundaries. As well as being specifically Ukrainian, they are also truly universal. To prove the point, the group has included two songs by British punk legends the Sex Pistols on the album. They don’t sound out of place. They, too, sang of anarchy, hardship and rebellion.
Whether you identify with East or West, traditional or modern, capitalist or socialist, the songs of Respublika will strike chords deep within them, and no doubt these beautiful, strident melodies with their haunting messages will continue to echo down the centuries.