All the way from Tallinn to Kazan, a selection of new recordings consider the value of escapism and/or imagination. A growing disappointment with the here and now only makes fantasy work harder.
Four new releases from Moscow artists look askance at the massed workings of modernity. As a result, songs of retrospection, solitude, and even isolation have an increasing appeal.
This week we're republishing a classic recording from one of Russia's most important and consistently surprising bands. It comes together with English translations and a host of contextual materials.
Who exactly is Ned Hoper? There's no such person in real life, even though the band members keep insisting upon the Australian roots of their legendary frontman. Their explanation is full of imagination and far from fact.
As material constraints frustrate a number of young Russian musicians, thoughts turn to various kinds of ascent. Poems are dedicated to movement above the rooftops - and even into the stars.
The need for young musicians to hold down a couple of jobs can be trying. Related material complications lead, over time, to a celebration of immaterial values, such as wistfulness and a slacker ethos.
A number of publications this week display an interesting tension between grand romance and self-deprecation. By understating their heartfelt values, these artists stress a stubborn fidelity to a fading cause.
Hoping to develop their careers in a meaningful fashion, these bands consider writing uplifting or consoling love songs. Reality, however, unfolds in strange ways and fosters a less optimistic outlook.
The professional or profitable options available to today's musicians are small in number. And yet the amount of music moving online increases. The rationale behind that creativity is not logical.
As magazines and festivals seek to promote young musicians, they speak of great promise and flourishing local scenes. The performers themselves are less sure.