Світає, палає (It’s dawning, it’s burning) is a third album by Ukrainian artist Alex Ashtaui, who performs as Morwan. He is well-known for his own brand of post-punk — dark, menacing and at times simply ferocious, and on this LP he is achieving new heights.
Last year due to the Russian invasion in Ukraine he had to leave his home city Kyiv with just a backpack, with no idea if he would be able to continue with his music and what would happen next. As things progressed, he settled down in Berlin and months later he was able to work on his album, which initially (pre-2022) was planned to be a lighter, more melancholic continuation of his previous record. However, the war changed everything and became a central theme of the release.
Sung in Ukrainian, Світає, палає is full of poetic and often cryptic lyrics adding to the overall sense of mystery and abstract reflections on the horrific events. The instrumentation is just transcendent, with manic guitars, visceral drums and frenetic vocal delivery. The album moves seamlessly between moments of quiet introspection and explosive catharsis, creating a sense of tension and release of pain that is both thrilling and unsettling. Very heavy yet exceptionally powerful and rewarding LP.
Listen below and buy the record here.