Sunday, September 14, 2008

MUSIC | Alina Simone

I was listening to the online streams of Alina Simone's music recently and they have begun to grow on me. What is amazing about her new album, Everyone Is Crying Out to Me Beware, is that it is entirely sung in Russian; I don't understand Russian.

Musician Alina Simone was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine and grew up in the suburbs of Massachusetts. She described her music as being "about people that bring you to the brink of joy and despair and about having epiphanies in the most ordinary places. " Her new album is a series of covers on the songs by Siberian punk-folk singer, Yanka Dyagileva. Though the language is lost in translation, the songs do not lose their emotional immediacy. Each song is a cry from the heart.

Popmatters on Alina Simone's new album:

The liner notes give us a translation of one song, “Beware”, from which the album’s title is taken. And with lines like, “I will have to swap the ritual / That I am sick and tired of / for a deadly missile”, we can see the stone-serious and poetic approach to songwriting Yanka had. And Alina Simone is the perfect performer to bring these songs to life, and hopefully bring Yanka Dyagileva to a new set of listeners. Like Nick Drake, Yanka’s life was short—she drowned mysteriously in 1991 at the age of 24—and her music was damaged and haunting. Simone’s renditions call to mind the space and cold of Siberia, where Yanka grew up. Each song echoes with the lonesome space that surrounds it, and when you get to the end of the album, you are drained. It takes energy to listen to this kind of sad beauty, and it takes a great performer to make it. Alina Simone has arrived now, and hopefully she isn’t going anywhere.

Alina Simone performs a song from her album, Everyone Is Crying Out to Me Beware :

Alina Simone on myspace.

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