Power pop

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Subversive Sentiments: Torba-na-Kruche, Kurara, OPAL, and Scofferlane
Against the backdrop of a Russian tradition of politicized rock songs, four collectives in 2014 look for alternative values. They tend to be immaterial, in the best - and most romantic - sense of the word.
Lasting Influences: Glintshake, TSUFA, 5 Vymir, and Bungalow Bums
From Siberia to Moscow - and even Kiev - a series of new releases admit openly to the influence of Western music from prior decades. A dissatisfaction with the here and now prompts lasting retrospection.
Nowhere in Particular: Biblioteka, EIMIC, February, and Blackpaperplanes
Through their use of other languages, employment overseas, and various forms of Wanderlust, these four bands work hard to ignore domestic culture. Anywhere - and anything - looks better than home.
Soundscapes: Imandra Lake, Yana Blinder, Magnetic Poetry, and Harajiev
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.
A Growing Importance of Things Local: The Stereoleto Festival 2014
The Russian music festival Stereoleto is about to start in Saint Petersburg. We examine some ideas behind the event's success and endurance. A link between diligence and dreams quickly emerges.
Obscurum Per Obscurius: The 2014 Schilling Festival (Estonia)
This year's Schilling Festival is about to start in Estonia. There's a special overlap between the festival's philosophy and the worldview of several Estonian bands taking part. Ideals and actuality coincide.
Four Vistas: Plane Passenger, More & Rel'sy, Motorama, and The Toads
A couple of rock bands far from Moscow ponder the benefits of avoiding its cutthroat industry. No matter how that might sound like consolation for a failed career, other ensembles tend to agree.
Slavic Noir: Serdceder, Fanny Kaplan, Parc Hotel, and Stone Submarines
Four new rock publications from Russian cities consider the likelihood of subversive song-writing in a culture where the weight of history seems great. Thoughts of sedition morph into acceptance.
Yielding: Glintshake, Okudjav, Commercial Marines, and Universe Inside
In a range of new recordings from Moscow, Yekaterinburg, and Chelyabinsk, aimlessness comes to the fore. These young musicians have scant faith in social progress: "uselessness" becomes their goal.
An Ideal Outlook: Slackers, Limebridge, Waltz, and 2MORROW2LATE
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.
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