Polyvoda’s latest single, “Bonfire,” is a musical odyssey that effortlessly defies categorization. Hailing from Ukraine, the trio, composed of Denys Levchenko on bass, Kyrylo Chykhradze on keys, and Mykhailo Birchenko on drums, weaves an enchanting tapestry of sound that melds modern jazz, hip-hop, neo-soul, and funk into a seamless and emotionally charged composition. Emerging from the crucible of Kyiv’s challenges in 2022, Polyvoda had previously garnered acclaim for their singles “Never Ending” and “Sirens.” Now, a year later, “Bonfire” marks their triumphant return, showcasing a musical evolution that is nothing short of exhilarating.
The track opens with a riveting drum solo, a precursor to an exploration that unfolds like a sonic kaleidoscope. Shifting gears gracefully, it segues into a neo-soul sanctuary, where soulful female vocals dance over a magnetic bassline. The chorus elevates the emotional intensity, introducing funky major chords played on an electric organ. Drawing parallels to an imaginary collaboration between Greentea Peng and the likes of Surprise Chef or Ezra Collective (sans brass section), “Bonfire” takes audacious detours. The bridge is a revelation, featuring a hip-hop chant reminiscent of Little Simz or Sampa The Great, accompanied by intense percussion and ethereal keyboard passages.
Beyond its musical prowess, “Bonfire” is a lyrical journey that delves into the band’s personal reflections on the war that touched their homeland in 2022. Kyrylo Chykhradze, one of the group’s founders, notes that the song encapsulates the emotional intricacies of both love and war. The metaphorical connection between the ash from the bonfire and the aftermath of war serves as a poignant illustration of destruction and rebirth, suggesting that even in the chaos, love can flourish. “Bonfire” is a bold statement, a testament to Polyvoda’s ability to craft a potent and intricate song structure. This release not only captivates but also positions the Ukrainian trio as a formidable musical force. With such a compelling offering, Polyvoda seems destined to be a significant discovery in the unfolding musical landscape. The anticipation for their future releases is palpable, driven by the sheer brilliance displayed in “Bonfire.”