Folk rock from Russia you ask? What could that possibly sound like? Surprisingly enough, quite a bit like American folk rock, but with different lyrics. Don’t believe me? Check out Mel’nitsa. They are one of the most widely known folk rock bands in Russia and have been around for more than ten years now, which is more than can be said of many other bands around the world…but I digress.
I’ve been on a foreign/world fusion kick lately, which I’m going to attribute this time around to looking up and posting Celtic tunes last month. I’ve been wanting different climes and different adventures–this apparently translates to crazy music from the Balkans and the likes of Mel’nitsa, Gogol Bordello (random trivia: the lead singer was in Everything is Illuminated), and the Moscow Male Chamber Choir of St. Basil Cathedral (how’s that for diverse?). What’s great about Melnitsa (with or without an apostrophe, depending on where you look, then name means “Windmill”) is that, if you are looking for the mystical theatrics of Fleetwood Mac, or some of the older Celtic groups, look no further than Melnitsa. They’ve got fog machines, harps and the long-flowing hair and garments befitting wood nymphs and wizards, but their sound is much more akin to a Russian Shawn Colvin than the Zelda or World of Warcraft soundtrack, even though some of those elements exist to their songs too… (and for those of you paying attention, I did just reference WoW.)
Want to hear some? Want to know more? Check out http://russmus.net for Russian tunes, lyrics/translations and podcasts! Want to hear what I’m hearing? On the left-hand side, go to their “Podcasts” tab and download Podcast #23: Mel’nitsa. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!