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.
Aleksandra Obraztsova's intriguing stage-name is a play upon the title of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's 2001 feature "Amelie." Obraztsova authors her hushed, pensive songs using the alter ego of "Ameli na Meli."
Darya Shakhova (aka The Owl) Novosibirsk: "I like all music… except completely idiotic styles, of course! I even like high-quality pop stuff. If something is made with heart and soul, then you'll feel it..."
In the city of Samara is a female choir led by Dmitrii Kolevatykh: Roundelay. This substantial, shifting lineup of young women creates a sound unique within modern Russian music.
A student at Saint Petersburg's Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory, Olga Glazova has won a wide range of competitions, both domestically and internationally. Her new album is released through FFM.
As these performers list the professional or political obstacles facing their work, a nostalgia develops for intuitive, pre-adult experience. Those earliest years harbored some nameless values.
Talaka.by is a Belarusian web portal: "We run a noncommercial platform that's designed to help people realize their socially useful projects - together." Those projects include music.
January LPs from Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Yekaterinburg show some general tendencies in how Russian rock sees itself today. Grand civic themes of prior decades are now absent.
Four melancholy releases all find solace by imagining a grander, quieter realm. Private anxieties fade away. The same consoling process is evident in new folk recordings, born of a parallel experience.
The Estonian label Ounaviks continues to produce a wide and wonderful range of folk reinterpretations for a new generation. From within that antique heritage comes a reconsidered worldview.