Four new recordings across Russia turn to the landscape for inspiration. While the natural world proves uplifting, mankind's invasion of the ecosphere - for material gain - ruins any fantasy.
As magazines and festivals seek to promote young musicians, they speak of great promise and flourishing local scenes. The performers themselves are less sure.
As musicians from Murmansk and Moscow online encounter rudeness, disdain, or indifference, an alternative is needed to actuality. A reconsideration of '70s psychedelia does the job very nicely.
A handful of new rock recordings include overlapping issues of isolation, impending poverty, and grim destiny. Considerable effort is needed in order to erase those feelings of diminished agency.
Young bands around Russia see little financial promise in their craft. Local reality does much to frustrate a material view of songwriting - yet an admission of those woes brings other issues to the fore.
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.
As mainstream media offers young Russian bands little support, a couple of responses emerge among amateur ensembles. Romantic views of both solitude and friendship transpire.
As a couple of Slavic rock bands admit a fondness for Bristolian trip-hop, the value of introspection is discussed elsewhere. It transpires that the same hushed lyricism - made public - still matters.
Several rock publications this week come from Moscow and its environs. Nonetheless, for all that potential, these bands toy with themes of decadence, paranoia, and even the apocalypse.
Four December rock recordings from St. Petersburg and Izhvesk ponder some markers of adult success, such as generic clarity and domestic success. With questionable romance, all are dismissed.