Friday, February 24, 2012

Edgy Russian Folk Music

Last summer I came across a Russian singer named Inna Zhelannaya (Инна Желанная) on YouTube and immediately fell in love with her music. She sings Russian folk tunes done in an alternative style. She totally sucked me in. I went to her official website translated here, where you can download music for a donation, and made a CD of her Winter album (Zima - Зима). You can read more about her in the Russian Wikepedia article translated here.

One time last summer I picked up Valya to take her somewhere and one of the songs was playing in my car, and she said What is that?!! We used to sing that at the orphanage. It turns out that there are three songs on this album that she had sung at the orphanage for something or other. She was very surprised that I had that music.

I agree with a reviewer of Winter on Amazon:

"I stumbled into this album by chance - what a find! A wonderful blend of timeless Russian ethnic songs and modern sound - pure pleasure."
Another reviewer wrote:
"Inna Zhelannaya has been tooling around with her amazing band in Russia to near obscurity for several years now. On this album, US listeners get a chance to hear Inna's incredibly haunting and romantic voice. She has so much range that is highlighted in so many different and unexpected ways by the Farlanders, it simply takes the listener to another place. 6-string bass tunings, some of the best woodwind playing ever, and unbelievable vocal harmonies make this the finest product to come out of Russia - just about ever."
If you're a fan of MOR, I doubt that you will like this. But if you like edgy album rock like me, I think you will enjoy it. She is so hard to categorize. Techno, funk, jazz, vocal, punk.

If you want to download any of her music, you can get it off her website translated here.

The Winter album was recorded live in Kyiv, Ukraine. Here is a duet from it with the Russian singer Pelegea (Пелагея translated here). It is a folk song called "А кто нас... ", Who Will Cover Us?

Here is a full concert that she did at TeleClub in Yekaterinburg, Russia. I could listen to this all day.

If you like this music, leave a comment for me. Thanks!

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