Irony, Pain and  Icebreaker

Irony, Pain and Icebreaker

Seven New Belarusian Bands Worth Checking Out March 2024

Belarusian music continues to exist and evolve even in today's extreme circumstances. We have gathered for you some very fresh musical projects that are worth your attention. Here you will find charming neo-folk, harsh black metal, monumental stoner rock, ironic pop, and much more. Read on, listen, and discover new names!

Filamaty

This is a project that was born quite recently — just a few weeks ago. It involves quite well-known personalities: musicians from the band Relikt almost in its entirety and Uladz Liankevich (Tonqixod, Luty Sakavik, Syndrom Samazvantsa). It's a very interesting mix because all these performers are non-trivial experimenters who constantly operate outside the comfort zone.

Relikt is a band of perfectionists who bring each of their albums to the highest level of quality. Liankevich is an encyclopedia of knowledge who easily juggles with not the easiest genres to perform. As a result, Filamaty is a step towards progressive rock with a nod to Tool but in a Belarusian context. The new collective tells the story of the famous Vilnius intellectual youth of the early 19th century. The classic plot about young dissenting philomaths has been rethought by the band and presented in a modern way.
The first track of the new collective was released on March 7th on the YouTube channel Perfaratar — you can check out «Pišaš, čakaješ» and draw conclusions. Interestingly, the second vocalist in the collective is Relikt's drummer Aliaksandr Dzemidzenka. It's quite an unexpected debut!

JSC Dubious Initiatives

From time to time, it can be noted: Belarusian music lacks lightness, irony, and audacity. And when creators step outside the territory of seriousness and deep reflection, sometimes real wonders happen. One of them is the project "JSC Dubious Initiatives". A ridiculous name, eccentric material — it's like you've stumbled upon a party where someone you know took the microphone and started singing songs. Silly and funny at the same time, but very captivating. 

"JSC Dubious Initiatives" recently released their debut album "1365". It's a collection of simple synth-pop songs with an uncomplicated musical composition. But they all work somehow miraculously because they are built on a memetic textual basis. The same goes for their new singles: a contemporary reading of "Grazhdanskaya Oborona" in the track "Porazitelno nepriyatnaya molodezh" and an ironic greeting to the rapper Pharaoh in the song "Dogivayushchiy subaru".
It can be accurately said that "JSC Dubious Initiatives" is at least not sad.
 

Woodland Haze
EP «The Harvest» 

Belarusian black metal stands roughly on par with Belarusian post-punk and serves as a unique musical business card of the country. There are many quality projects, and most importantly, new ones are constantly emerging. Quite recently, the Belarusian duo Woodland Haze released their debut EP "The Harvest".
The EP wonderfully demonstrates the overall potential of the band.

It's atmospheric black metal with references to classic bands. On one hand, the material is quite traditional and without surprises — understandable and canonical musical moves, entirely abstract and template texts. But at the same time, the musicians create within the genre a lively and dense product, niche but bright and dynamic.
The debut material of the EP looks very positive: not dragged out, professional, with respect for the roots. If the musicians work on their individuality, it may turn out to be a wonderful project capable of competing in the global extreme metal market. Belarus already has quite a few such collectives. It's cool if another one appears.
 

VVaxplay

We've already talked about this collective in our recent review of new albums. It was founded by well-known artists in the Belarusian music underground scene. Hanna Zhdanova started in the indie band Lilac back in the early 2010s, then participated in the ironic but not very successful project "Landysh i Sakhar" and pursued a solo career. Stas Murashka was the bassist of The Toobes, participated in projects like "Valentin Strykalo" and "Soyuz". In short, each member of the duo has a solid background and corresponding skillset.


VVaxplay is more akin to Zhdanova's projects in mood: melancholic, lyrically lounge, somewhere between trip-hop and light jazz. At the same time, it's important to note the work of instrumentalist Murashka, who turned a rather mediocre material into a rich, vibrant album with detailed and original arrangements that make each song more beautiful and substantial.
It must be said that Zhdanova has grown as a singer. In VVaxplay, she sounds more convincing than ever before. Overall, it's an interesting debut work that showcases the capabilities of each member, although it may come across as too simplistic.

L.e.d.o.k.o.l

Belarusian stoner rock doesn't have such a rich tradition. Here we can mention only a few bands that have explored this psychedelic metal ground: Coat primarily, then Zhaba and Rowan. But these are isolated cases, and a full-fledged stoner rock scene hasn't emerged in Belarus.


L.e.d.o.k.o.l — is a brand new project that has only released two tracks so far. But even from the name, it's clear that it's something powerful and monumental. And indeed, that's what it is. The musicians work with low-tempo focused riffs, as if an enormous metallic machine is slowly moving across northern seas, crushing ancient ice beneath it. Can you imagine how that sounds? Well, then you don't need further descriptions of the band's music.
Of course, this is just the beginning — based on two tracks, it's impossible to form a comprehensive impression of the collective. But at the singles level, it sounds quite interesting: excellent sound work, many atmospheric slow psychedelic solos, cool vocals. We look forward to a full-fledged album to understand whether the band has delivered on its promise.

Twigs Garden
«Rainy Evening Perfume» 

It's hard to find any information about this project. It is known that behind the Twigs Garden label stands a guy from Belarus. He is an artist and musician creating very unusual, strange things. For example, his new album titled "Rainy Evening Perfume" with an original drawing on the cover.

It's a short 25-minute recording that sonically refers to classic neofolk but is very authentic. Lo-fi sound creates an interesting atmosphere where each part seems to emerge from dense fog. Focused, charming, and very cozy — that's how it can be characterized.
There are many pleasant moments in it: listen to the wonderful single "Forest," where in three minutes, real musical magic happens, or the track "Horror Films of the 1980s" — paradoxically cozy and anxious at the same time. This is the magic of Rainy Evening Perfume — it sounds like a greeting from someone else's subconsciousness, someone who becomes your good friend over these 25 minutes. You want this friendship to continue.
 

"Serbian Knife"

At the end of last year, the album "Yama" was released. Well, calling it an album—it's a 15-minute compilation of very energetic and lively tracks, built on bouncy bass lines, minimalist keyboards, a monotonous drum machine, and cold recitative vocals. That's how the band "Serbian Knife" marked a rather productive creative year.


It should be noted right away that the band's live performances look much more interesting than their recordings. There's a lot of energy in them, and these mini-songs look like full-fledged fighters for a crazy dance. But in the studio version, attention should be paid to something else— to the sharp, imaginative lyrics of the band, which adorn the minimalist instrumental. It could be said that these are punk declamations, conveying meaning through concise musical elements—and it works excellently in this format. The sharp songs sound like slaps in the face, pulling you out of your comfort zone and leaving you feeling like it all happened too quickly, and you want more. We'll be waiting for more!


 

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