Afisha and Colta are arguably Moscow's two most influential music publications when it comes to finding or fostering new talent. As December begins, they both consider the musical year ahead - with some anxiety.
Surrounded by a series of failing support systems, be they social or financial, four Russian ensembles turn to themes of family. In difficult times, thoughts of friends and colleagues grow more important.
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.
Four new releases by baroque- and/or chamber pop outfits ponder a common theme of self-determination. To what degree do these youngsters feel any control over their increasingly social lives?
The Saint Petersburg band Lemonday are currently a threesome: Julia Nakaryakova, Zhenya Il', and drummer Anton Pokrovsky. Together their craft wonderfully witty, lo-fi songs about life's underdogs.
Margarita Popova, best known for her project "Chaos in Heathrow," releases a new EP under a second stage-name. A related theme of social role-playing runs through all five of these songs.
2muchachos, based in the town of Cherepovets , turn the crackle and rustle of a tape-music aesthetic into the soundtrack for small-scale botanical bustle.
Sugar God (Evgeny Pozdnyakov, Moscow): "I've tried to create the atmosphere of being in outer space, or of a bird's flight. It's a combination of romantic solitude and nostalgia"
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.