From The Depths Of Xiamen, 2015 – VISCULA’s Mini Album ‘Never Be The Same’

Published on 13 June 2023 at 08:17

Words: Max Bradfield


Back in 2015, Ukrainian band Viscula recorded their album ‘Never Be The Same’ in the Chinese city of Xiamen. Now, in 2023, a new wave of appreciation arrives as we take a listen back to the project that was the culmination of the group’s two-year spell in China – a time which also saw them remarkably perform in 12 different provinces.


Recorded at Project One Studio with the help of Filipino music friends, and mastered by the sound engineer whizz, LinXyan Lv – ‘Never Be The Same’ is a captivating listen. The titular track of the mini album opens with thoughtful piano chords, a lounging bass and a silky lead vocal that stretches casually over the backing instrumentals. An accordion then joins the party, transporting the listener to a near-Parisian soundscape. This aspect simply adds to the worldly nature of the band.


Viscula were formed back in 2002 in the Ukrainian city of Lutsk and since then their music has touched China, Hong Kong and a Filipino influence. That said, Asia isn’t the only continent that has seen the group – as a stunning work ethic has seen the group play in 18 different countries. Notable performances came widely at festivals such as: Together to The Top (Poland), Fonari (Russia), Shanghai International (China), and Feckfest (UK). 



The second song ‘Message To Nowhere’ is short and sweet, and takes on a more folky form. There’s a relatively acapella beginning before an upbeat acoustic is joined by plucky bass and a light lead guitar that is rich in tone. Yet again, that aforementioned accordion comes in before bongos and a delightful harmonic version of the repeated chorus closes this 1:50 track – a brilliant flash in the pan.


‘When I Get To Find You’ presents a tone shift in the four song collection. Listeners are greeted by falling piano progressions amidst a foreboding, yet early 00s club like soundscape. Bouncy keys are contrasted with a floating lead vocal and an echo-rich guitar line. The keys seemingly take a life of their own towards the end and draw the track to a close with a gifted mini riffing section – nodding to (if not already obvious) the band’s innate musical talent.


Where WIGTFY has an almost longing aura, the fourth and final song ‘Forever Young’ injects the EP with an emphatic, euphoric end. It’s much a representation of the album as a whole as much as it is the song itself, as it holds an interesting combination of sounds alongside a catchy nature. While there are big breaks as the lead sings We will be forever young there’s a spoken word section and even the vinyl scratching sounds you may find on an early 2000’s DJ soundboard. 


Now based in London, and with a number of city outings at venues like the Hope & Anchor, St. Moritz and the New Cross Inn, Viscula's new bout of promo could hint at new material. If so, there’s reason to be excited – how will they fare after such a long time out? Much to look forward to.


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