The importance of folkloric narratives and a premodern ethos endure for some Russian and Estonian performers. In each case, the allure of yesterday is imagined as some vaguely perceived source of light.
Baltic rock bands gathered recently at the Tallinn Music Week. Interviews and PR materials from all the groups suggest that the main target of today's rebellious songwriting is dull actuality.
Despite a rich tradition of social protest in Russian rock music, some recent recordings have found such entrenched lacunae within local life that other themes transpire. Escapism replaces subversion.
Three inherently acoustic traditions are subjected to a process of change. The more those variations come to light, the more they aid self-expression. The broader one's vista, the more subjectivity benefits.
Mineguide come from the ancient town of Smolensk. Peace, quiet, and ancient history all help the band plot their future career. That same need for a pre-urban expanse appears with other post-rock outfits.
The superb Estonian collective Imandra Lake have just published a wide-ranging series of remixes. The botanical metaphors used in that "flourishing" enterprise are found far and wide.
Following a three-year hiatus, Zemifra has produced a new solo album. Although it comes after an extended silence, its core philosophy is found by the local press in other, more active bands.
As Moscow's InWhite produce a debut album, their reliance upon supportive crowdfunding is evident. A related degree of civic faith, however, is sometimes less manifest in the work of other artists.
A couple of new rock recordings find lyrical inspiration in the traditions of Soviet science. Other related publications look back further into the past, either to more introspective or theological themes.
The Nizhny Novgorod band Hronop have persisted for 27 years. The outlook developed across that timespan is, in essence, absurdist. It's a worldview that appeals to younger Russian artists, too.