Curioser and curioser. Curiosity is definitely the word currently at the forefront of my mind when learning of the new Ukrainian pop act Mickolai. As the brains behind the project is somebody who we’ve taken a distinct liking too over the years here on EQ.
Namely that the artist sporting the new moniker is none other than Ukrainian pop wonder hunk Max Barskih, who you might recall gave us such electronic pop belters as “Lost In Love”, “Z. Dance” and “Fuck Off” (the latter of which found it’s way onto our very own curated electronic pop compilation “This Beat Is Poptronik” Volume 2) .
Now I’m not so totally sure if the artist previously known to us as Max Barskih has totally gone under the radar now the new change in name has occurred. This might be a side project? or totes a full gone reinvention even!, but seeing that Max’s real name is Mykola I tend to fall at the conclusion that he’s running this one seeking a new journey.
Maybe even this might be all part of the bigger crossover step forward into the much wider European market we’ve been waiting and hoping on, since we first starting writing about Max Barskih!
The most exciting news of all is this! The self-titled debut EP “Mickolai” has just recently made an appearance on the web and released through digital outlets, and this time it is ALL of English speaking content. Whoop!
Max’s last few Ukrainian speaking releases have shown the former electro-pop troubadour undergoing a change of direction, in a much more experimental vein. So suppose he really didn’t see himself fitting into the same box as Sergey Lazarev, afterall!
I can only surmise that this period has acted as an artist in development and in presenting ‘Mickolai’ is the polished end result of it all.
The 5 track EP, offers insight into the welcoming of a dramatic dynamic of dark and twisted pop some of which excites me more than others, but overall tracks such as “Free 99”, “Welcome to LA”, and “Waterfall” have got some seriously ear-buzzing shit going on. Meaning by that, there are some definite echoes of throwback to the electro-pop we first fell in love with.
Mickolai, is coming at us all crossways and diversified of content, which from an artistic perspective is a good thing in being able to develop musically, approached with some creativity and continuity.
Gotta say the EP visual teaser is a highly impressive watch and I hope these clips bring forth a series of full promotional videos in due course, not only because they are completely riveting but I get the impression we are in for some storytelling about how Mickolai has come about and now relocated to LA, as suggested by info on social media.
I’m all for a pop re-invention if it is a good one, Max known AKA Mickolai could definitely bring us some interesting surprises to come that’s for sure.