In the midst of Ukraine’s challenging times, marked by resilience and resistance, HACKEDFACE has been contributing to the nation’s evolving music landscape since they came together on August 1, 2020. Their debut single “Oxygen,” released exactly a year after their formation, was born out of a month-long, intensive creative process. Sequestered in a shared living space, the band members poured their emotions into a track whose emotional depth is readily apparent, even to those who merely read its lyrics.
“We woke up together every day and worked on what you can now hear. It’s emotional, it’s earnest, and we’ve poured ourselves into it,” describes Max Hrezhynets, the band’s songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist.
For a band that once outsourced its artistic sensibilities to external designers, the cover art of “Oxygen” stands as a testament to their evolving self-reliance.
This burgeoning sense of authenticity has burgeoned still further in their latest offering, the mini-album “Optional / Mandatory,” which was released on September 14, 2023. Its six singles— “preude,” “optional/mandatory,” “color,” “bloomen,” “no name rockstar,” and “coda”—are like constellations in a night sky of emotional complexity.
“We penned these songs during difficult chapters in both our personal journeys and the collective narrative of our homeland,” elaborates Bohdan Fedynts, the band’s songwriter and bassist.
The thematic touchstones of this album swivel from melancholy to energy, manifesting a dialogue with listeners that’s more personal than prescriptive. Instrumentally, it defies categorization, opting for a sort of delightful ambiguity that embraces its experimental nature.
“We believe each of us carries a bundle of light inside that we can share with others,” the band explains, alluding to the profound undertones of hope that course through their music.
“Never forget the path you promised yourself,” Rita Korovchenko, their future drummer and current social media and lyricist, urges fans.
Rita’s childhood image graces the mini-album’s cover—a poignant symbol, perhaps, of the band’s quest for authenticity and emotional resonance. While juggling their creative pursuits, HACKEDFACE has orchestrated four events, two of which were fundraisers for Ukraine’s Armed Forces and those impacted by Russian aggression. This attests to their wider vision: a world where people transcend routine to truly savor life.
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The trio comprising the band includes Max Hrezhynets as the song-writer, vocalist, and guitarist; Bohdan Fedynts as another song-writer and bass player; and Rita Korovchenko handling social media, lyrics, and set to be the future drummer.
In this multi-faceted collective, HACKEDFACE has channeled their shared and individual experiences, their emotional spectra, and their humanitarian impulses into a musical journey that invites their audience to find and share their own “bundle of light.”