7 Popular Russian bands to know

January 3, 2017 Elena Vakhnik, special to RBTH
Russian pop music has come a long way since the days of t.A.T.u. Today groups from across Russia playing a wide variety of styles are finding acclaim in Japan, France and the United States.
Little Big
There are a number of Russian bands that sing in English and are becoming increasingly popular abroad. Source: Press Photo

When asked to name a popular Russian band, most foreigners — if they could named anything at all — are likely to cite Pussy Riot, the punk group known more for its political activism than for its talent. There are, however, a number of Russian bands that sing in English and are becoming increasingly popular abroad. Here is a list of seven such groups worth checking out.  

1. Pompeya

This new wave electropop band was founded in Moscow, but all the members of the group now live in Los Angeles. Pompeya first appeared on the Russian music scene in 2007 and was associated primarily with hipster culture. Today, the group is targeting a Western audience and is working to achieve better sound quality for its sunny, laid-back music. The group has played concerts all over the world, including in Europe and North and South America.

The group has played concerts all over the world, including in Europe and North and South America. Source: YouTube

2. Tesla Boy

This electropop band is working with the British Nu-Disco label Mullet Records. They have shared a stage with Placebo and Hurts and have appeared in the pages of Q Magazine. Their album “The Universe Made of Darkness” has topped the Russian iTunes charts. They sing mostly about love, and use synthesizers to compose their songs. Tesla Boy has been invited to participate in several major music festivals in the U.S. and Canada. All the band members have diplomas in music.

This electropop band is working with the British Nu-Disco label Mullet Records. They have shared a stage with Placebo and Hurts and have appeared in the pages of Q Magazine. Source: YouTube

3. Little Big

The videos of this trash rave band from St. Petersburg have garnered millions and millions of views on YouTube. The band’s shocking style mocks Russian culture and emphasizes the grotesque. Its lead singers are comedian-artist Ilya Prusikin and Olimpiya Ivlyeva, who is a little person. The band once performed a joint concert with the South African rant-rave group Die Antwoord. You can catch Little Big on tour around Russia through the end of 2016.

The band’s shocking style mocks Russian culture and emphasizes the grotesque. Source: YouTube

4. On-the-go

This indie-pop band frequently performs in London, and they are often mistaken for a British group. They have been compared to Alt-J and Woodkid and have performed with Hurts and Keane. On-the-go has released four albums marked by a sound that can be described as “Russian melancholy.” The band began as a rock group in the city of Tolyatti in southwestern Russia, but eventually they moved into a smoother sound.

On-the-go has released four albums marked by a sound that can be described as “Russian melancholy.” Source: YouTube

5. Jack Wood

This garage-rock band from Tomsk can claim a number of unique achievements. In 2015, it became the first Russian band to perform at the UK’s Glastonbury Festival. Additionally, one of their songs is included in the soundtrack for the popular American TV series “House of cards” TV series. They also have performed with the Recounters and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Although the band emulates the style of Jack White — dressing in black and playing dark blues — members claim the group is named after their late dog. 

One of their songs is included in the soundtrack for the popular American TV series “House of cards” TV series. Source: YouTube

6. Therr Maitz

Anton Belyaev, this band’s front man, hails from the city of Khabarovsk in the Russian Far East. His fans include legions of young Russian girls and he is a frequent guest on Russian TV shows. The band spent nearly 10 years living in Japan before recently returning to Russia. They have performed with 30 Seconds to Mars as well as at the Russian international music festival Maxidrom.

The band spent nearly 10 years living in Japan before recently returning to Russia. Source: YouTube

7. Motorama

This group calls their style twee pop or post-punk. Their music is dark and gloomy, yet refined. The primary subjects of their songs are relationships — or the lack thereof. Motorama, which was founded in 2005 in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, has released four studio albums and has many fans around the world. The group is currently at work on a new album with the French label Talitres and has concerts planned around France and Belgium.

This group calls their style twee pop or post-punk. Their music is dark and gloomy, yet refined. Source: YouTube

Read more: How to party like a Russian: From Boney M. to Robbie Williams>>>

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