Like many people around the world, I’ve watched in shock and horror as the events in Eastern Europe unfold. I stand with the people of Ukraine, and I hope that this senseless invasion comes to a swift end.
I’ve long believed that music has the unique ability to humanize the people and culture of places I’ve never experienced first-hand, so I spent some time this weekend seeking out artists in Ukraine who make the type of music I like—synthpop, darkwave, industrial, post-punk.
Many of the artists I found are posting on social media about the invasion and how it’s impacting them. Sadly, they don’t know when they’ll be able to create or release music again. They need our support now more than ever. As always, the best way to support artists is to purchase their music on Bandcamp. If that’s not possible, consider listening to their music on streaming services like Spotify and following them on Facebook.
I also wanted to use this opportunity to promote a cause that’s important to me. I’m particularly concerned about LGBTQ people in Ukraine. In times of crisis, marginalized people face higher risks and cannot always count on access to humanitarian aid, and they will confront uncertain futures if Russia succeeds in conquering Ukraine. OutRight Action International is funding local partners in Ukraine and surrounding countries who are supporting queer and trans people impacted by these attacks. I’ve made a contribution to OutRight, and I encourage you to do so if you have the means. Donate here.
Go_A is an electronic-folk band that represented Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021. They placed fifth. I believe that “Shum,” the fantastic song they performed at Eurovision, is their most recent release.
Ginger Snap5 is a musician based in Odessa, Ukraine, who makes thrilling electronic music with industrial flourishes. On the day of the invasion, he released his most recent track, “Ghosty (Гості),” which he says is “kinda symbolic that this one song is in my native language.” “Гості” means “guests.”
Sexual Purity is an electronic duo from Dnipro, Ukraine, who make minimal coldwave that will appeal to fans of Boy Harsher and Linea Aspera. Their most recent release is a concept album called Suffer | Hope that was recorded in an abandoned ghost town in war-ravaged eastern Ukraine.
Ship Her Son
Ship Her Son is a post-industrial, electronic band from Lviv, Ukraine. His music combines German lyrics and EBM sounds. “Gott” comes from his debut album, Essen, which was released last year.
Icy Men is a gloomy darkwave project from Ukraine’s capital city, Kyiv, on the Cold Transmission label, home to White Mansion, Ultra Sunn, and many other artists I love. Low Light, their second album, is their most recent release.
Farba Kingdom is a darkwave duo from Odessa whose music combines male and female vocals with dynamic electronics. Their latest single, “Very God,” was released just last week.
Black Light District
Black Light District is a goth-synth project from Kyiv. They’ve covered Sisters of Mercy, Skinny Puppy, and Christian Death. “Traction” is an electronic pulser that opens their second album, Black Light District II, which was just released this month.
The Glass Beads
The Glass Beads is a coldwave duo from Ukraine who make timeless, sorrowful goth. Their debut album, Therapy, was released in 2020.
Gil’otina is a darkwave project from Ukraine that describes themselves as a “Kyiv-based sad dynamic music factory.” Their most recent release is their second album Orgán, which came out in 2020.
Pororoka is a dark-folk band from Kyiv that might be a bit of an outlier here. I’m not sure if they use any synths, but I really like their sound. Their latest release is “DYM,” which means the smoke. This song is devoted to large-scale forest fires that took place in the Central and Eastern parts of Ukraine in the spring and autumn 2020.