In the war-torn shadows of Odessa’s vibrant music scene, emerges new screamo / post hardcore band, NEKURA, a fusion of seasoned Ukrainian musicians from Septa and The Nietzsche, crafting a narrative in screamo that’s as poignant as it is piercing. Their debut EP, a canvas painted with the hues of heartache and the turmoil of a nation at war, launches a sonic expedition through the soul of lost love.
Nekura’s music is a journey through the nuances of pain, articulated through the poetic lens of Japanese haiku. This choice of inspiration, simmering in the mind of vocalist Yevhen Tymchyk for nearly a decade, finds its voice in the Ukrainian language. Each song in the EP is a vignette, ranging from the introspective depths of emo to the ferocious outbursts of blackened hardcore and powerviolence, revealing the versatility of the band’s emotional and musical range.
This project, initially recorded months before the Russian invasion, has evolved under the shadow of conflict.
The transition from English to Ukrainian lyrics was not just a linguistic shift but a profound transformation, reflecting the band’s response to the turmoil enveloping their homeland. This change added an undeniable authenticity and depth to their work, resonating deeply with listeners who share a similar experience of upheaval and resilience.
The band’s collaboration with Jack Shirley for mixing and mastering has been a defining aspect of their sound. Shirley’s expertise, renowned for shaping the auditory landscapes of bands like Deafheaven and State Faults, has wrapped Nekura’s music in a raw, powerful aura. This partnership, born out of mutual respect and understanding, has played a crucial role in realizing the band’s vision for their debut EP.
The lineup, featuring Yevhen Tymchyk on vocals, Oleksandr Kostuchenko on guitars, Oleksii Elanskii on bass, and Vladyslav Oliinyk on drums, brings together a synergy of creative energies. Their collective approach to songwriting, devoid of a singular dominant voice, allows for a democratic and diverse creation process, evident in the multifaceted nature of their tracks.
From the heart of Ukraine, Nekura stands as a testament to the resilience and creativity of a nation under siege, their music a beacon of raw emotion and genre-defying artistry.
Check out our brief interview to learn more about their craft.
How did the fusion of Septa and The Nietzsche members come about to form Nekura, and what unique elements do each of you bring to this new screamo project?
Three of us from Septa just started writing these songs spontaneously in 2021 with The Nietzsche guitarist taking bass duties, and since all four members really love 3rd way screamo, especially United Nations, Loma Prieta, Jeromes Dream, we just went with along with this vibe. I think we aimed to sound differently on this one, especially my vocal delivery, I mean who needs to hear another Septa or The Nietzsche by another name, the world has enough of it already. Also, I feel like the whole process of songwriting was more democratic with no primary songwriter, each contributed almost equally to making those tracks.
Your debut EP draws inspiration from Japanese haiku. Can you explain how this poetic form influenced the songwriting and thematic development of your tracks?
This is something I was marinating for almost ten years since I first read that haiku, to record an EP around this concept. At first I was planning to turn into Septa release, but as time passed I was more comfortable with the idea of a new project. This whole aesthetic really pushed me into creating more poetic lyrics for the record, without the usual song structure boundaries. It’s somewhat similar with what we were doing for The Nietzsche, bringing poems as lyrics for the songs, but this time those poems were written by me.
The shift from English to Ukrainian lyrics is significant, especially considering the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. How has this transition affected the emotional depth and reception of your music?
When we first drafter this EP I’ve already felt unease with English lyrics, basically that’s why we scraped it in 2021. Transitioning to Ukrainian felt more natural, I guess russian invasion forced this decision a bit, kind of an instinctive choice.
With such a blend of genres in your EP, from emo to blackened hardcore and powerviolence, how do you maintain a cohesive sound while exploring these different styles?
It’s brief, so that’s a good thing, none of these genre explorations overstays their welcome, but overall for me it reads like one piece of art. Like every line of that haiku has it’s mood and atmosphere on its own, same is with the songs, but together in one motion they form a full complete tale.
Working with Jack Shirley for mixing and mastering must have been an impactful experience. How did his expertise shape the final sound of your EP, and what was it like collaborating with him?
Jack is the best, both as professional and as human being. His support and understanding of our current circumstances was tremendous. And the sound he wrapped our music in is what we aimed for from the very beginning, dry, raw, powerful. I really hope this is only a beginning of our collaboration.