Fake Elegance
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Fake Elegance

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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Multi Genre Compilation Vol. 6 brought to you by Unsigned Artist Radio Network"

Beautiful Morning by Fake Elegance. This Ukrainian band termed their music as “Fake Pop.” Now, naming a new genre isn’t bad. “Beautiful Morning” is not only Pop-ish, it also exemplifies the band’s distinct sound, tasteful synth and riffs, and strong female vocals. - UARadio.net

"Fake Elegance: Working Hard in the Name of “Positive Energy”"

Fake Elegance are a foursome from Kiev who have just signed a contract with New York’s Sunset Recordings and hope to play in the US very soon. That bold step across the Atlantic would suggest that the band members produce sounds of broad appeal, somehow slipping through the narrow limits of a Russian- or Ukrainian-only repertoire. Their promotional materials do indeed promise that they possess the kind of discography (and phrase book) needed to make that leap.

“Fake Elegance are a young and ambitious Ukrainian band. They define their style as ‘fake-pop’, because even though there are undoubtedly elements of pop music in their songs, the band as a whole doesn’t associate itself with mass culture. This ensemble plays music from the heart, all about human feelings and emotions. Their pleasant and catchy melodies make their entire catalog accessible to a wide range of people.”

The goal, therefore, is a mass audience, but not the culture thereof.

A tough call, to be sure.

This balancing act began four years ago, dedicated from the outset to “positive and energetic” compositions. In 2008 the group was noticed by the national radio station Evropa Plius (Europe Plus) - as the picture above shows, taken during a visit to the Kiev studios. The band attributes this sudden attention - and ensuing success - to the station’s realization that Fake Elegance play “high-quality music in a European vein.” And so the ensemble made its way out into the ether, one transistor radio or IPod at a time.

Creeping across the continent, they nonetheless kept their eyes fixed on the distant shores of the United States. As we can see below, transport has long been in place, together with a suitable flag, a Jack Daniels poster, and a drum kit emblazoned with a Route 66 sign. If and when the band comes to New York to showcase a debut album, the likelihood of culture shock looks slim.

Fake Elegance are fronted - at least visually and vocally - by Irina Shevchuk, born a very long way from Ukraine, in the Far North of Russia. More specifically in the Chukotka region, looking out onto Alaska and Sarah Palin’s house. Shevchuk, however, is not only band member to have travelled these enormous distances. Guitarist Anton Blotskii (on the left in the Evropa Plius image) was born in Komsomol’sk na Amure, almost on the Pacific coastline.

Shevchuk moved to Ukraine at the age of six, so she and some of the other band members have spent almost all their lives in Ukraine. They feel themselves to be proud and patriotic citizens, which - sooner or later - will raise the thorny issue of language. The group sings in English - given their international ambitions - yet their online materials are almost exclusively in Russian.

Late last year the band announced at its page on V kontakte that they’d just committed their first song in Ukrainian to tape. Opinions were asked of the online fan base…

The reaction was largely positive, together with suggestions that perhaps the group could work consistently in two languages, producing all their recordings in both English and Ukrainian versions. These are not the times for such pricey luxuries, however, and Blotskii put the bilingual suggestion to one side diplomatically: “Maybe we’ll all grow up some day [and realize we should, perhaps, be singing in Ukrainian], but I reckon that Fake Elegance will remain an English-language band.”

A fan chipped in immediately afterwards: “Don’t start singing in Ukrainian! Irina sounds better in English.” And so the apolitical, international outlook remained uppermost, trying to reach the “mass, popular audience” mentioned above, without falling to the factions or bickering of popular politics.

People should be whistling, not whining. Especially on grey and overcast days.

Bad weather and a bad attitude do not go well together.

Another way in which the group stays one step away from local posturing is directly audible. They underscore the light, carefree sound of their songs by not using a live bass player. More treble, less of an ominous-sounding bass… and a sunny, radio-friendly aesthetic emerges as a result. Whatever the possible interpretations or benefits of this musical decision today, it wasn’t something enacted consciously. “After our earlier bass player left the band, we started looking for a replacement and auditioned loads of people. We just couldn’t find the right person. Either the musicians themselves were the wrong kind of individuals, or they just sounded wrong for us. It was then that we gave an electric bass a go - and realized it was exactly the sound we needed! Nowadays we don’t even think about getting a live bass player! The only time we really miss that extra band member is if we feel like jamming!”

True: plastic objects tend not to be spontaneous partners.

One of the most interesting and direct expressions of this easy-going attitude in a nasty business comes on the personal V kontakte page of Shevchuk. Here she has typed out a 1956 poem by Boris Pasternak as something of a programmatic statement and tagged it “About Me.” In English it would begin: “It is not seemly to be famous/Celebrity does not exalt;/There is no need to hoard your writings/And to preserve them in a vault./To give your all - this is creation,/And not-to deafen and eclipse./How shameful, when you have no meaning,/To be on everybody’s lips!”

If we take these lines seriously, then, it becomes even clearer how the band as a whole go about their business. In a country or business context where avarice and barefaced criminality are so prevalent, enthusiasm and commitment must be rare commodities. Sidestepping politics and remaining stubbornly noncommittal becomes an attractive stance in and of itself. The ability to “give one’s all” - in the name of nothing in particular. And thus avoid anything that’s angrily partisan.

Effort and enthusiasm, rather than an agenda. Processes rather than goals: activities that are always able to “begin,” yet hopefully never end.

By that we mean the following: Fake Elegance’s song “Beautiful Morning” - the first track in this post - enjoyed particular success on the early morning broadcasts of Evropa Plius in Ukraine. Today that entire nation gets out of bed to face news such as this: “After a few months of relative respite from the economic whirlwind, economists are warning that a second wave of the crisis is awaiting Ukraine’s financial sector this autumn.” Grimness awaits.

The one antidote to that seeming inevitability is an attitude of hope, the belief that chance is (always) possible and that the playing field of options remains broad. It’s a spirit reflected both in the insistent sunniness of Fake Elegance’s output and Pasternak’s poem: “Try not to live as a pretender,/But so to manage your affairs/That you are loved by wide expanses,/And hear the call of future years.”

If the “wide expanses” don’t materialize in geographic terms, there are still many people in Ukraine who are already grateful for the kind of songs that allow those same expanses to be imagined in terms of chance, luck, and room to move. Away from what seems inevitable.

With a spring in your step. - David MacFadyen, Far From Moscow


We have a number of tracks that have streaming and radio play:

1. Beautiful Morning
2. Fake
3. Your Eyes Stripped
4. Sunshine
5. If I Can't Have You Now
6. In My Head
7. Happy End

Tracks 1 and 3 experience wide radio airplay in Ukraine.



Since their inception in 2005, Fake Elegance managed to earn the reputation of the live band playing positively charged and energetic music. In the beginning of summer 2008 the band’s "Beautiful Morning" track became the morning hit on the radio “Europa Plus Ukraine” and climbed to the top places in Ukrainian radio charts. Also, the significant step in the band development became the collaboration with the Ukrainian designer of fashion clothes Anna Sosnovska who created original stage costumes for the band.

In July 2009 Fake Elegance signed a record deal with NYC-based independent record label Sunset Records. The debut album is expected to be released by the end of September 2009.