VIA Gra – Gems from a Ukraine Pop Trio

When I subscribed to Vogue recently, I found the magazine had changed. Vogue had always been a classic, and I wanted the showcase and tips on fashion, and the bird’s eye view of the glamor world, but now its focus has expanded. It includes many features on race, on challenging advanced new art, and international things. One thing I discovered was the Ukraine women’s pop trio VIA Gra.

VIA Gra has a glamorous pop sound, but also a melodic folk feel. The trio has been together since about 2000, starting as a duo, and adding a new member a few years later. They are three young women singers with fit bodies and nice hair and revealing, flashy but tasteful outfits. They sing in Russian. Vogue compared them to The Spice Girls but they seem to have much more independence and nerve, representing something good about young women and people and international culture.

VIA Gra has about six albums (whose titles I can’t translate, in Cyrillic), and a lot of singles. Their sound has evolved over the two decades, but they have remained consistent. They have a great name, which suggests a droll, wry, sexy way with words, so I wish I could know what the lyrics say. But their harmonies are white-wine dry and the synthesizer background is dreamy and natural. I have been playing them for two days, and they still have not tired me. This is music for any time, or any social context, whether I am alone, and their romantic touch enchants me, or something to play with friends visiting, because it is fun and light.

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