Otava Yo: Do You Love (ARC Music)

 |   |  1 min read

Brooms
Otava Yo: Do You Love (ARC Music)
This may well be a first for Elsewhere, an album of traditional Russian folk music . . .

But wait, before you go . . .

The clip below has had over 27 millions view on YouTube and the song topped the World Music Network chart so . . .

Otava Yo are a six-piece collective from St Petersburg which includes film makers, so they know how to present an idea and a video (check their others here).

They've got a sense of humour.

Otava Yo – the name has something to do with that annoying grass which constantly grows back after cutting – also manage to turn traditional folk songs into dancefloor bangers and their live shows apparently rock the fields at festivals.

They aren't as austere as their album cover suggests (only the woman in the centre is actually in the band) and for ears far beyond the steppes the closest musical reference point might be some meltdown of Jewish gypsy klezmer and Irish folk.

It's different, incomprehensible to non-Russian speakers but somehow – by being folk I guess – has a familiarity which endears it to festival goers and those a few drinks down who are linking arms in the local boozer (check Brooms if you doubt it, or The Lord Once Gave Me Tea).

There are sensitive songs here too, as in the less bellicose Maidens Have Sown the Flax which sounds closer to Anglo-folk of the Amazing Blondel kind (with women singers).

We're not going to pretend this is an essential world music album, but if you only buy one Russian folk album this month . . .


Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Various Artists: Musical Explorer Series; Deben Bhattacharya, Waves of Joy (ARC Music CD/DVD)

Various Artists: Musical Explorer Series; Deben Bhattacharya, Waves of Joy (ARC Music CD/DVD)

Elsewhere has happily been down this path previously but we acknowledge these Indian music collections of field recordings with an archival film are not for everybody. As we mentioned before,... > Read more

TARANAKI WOMAD 2020: THE ARTISTS' LINE-UP in words, sound and vision

TARANAKI WOMAD 2020: THE ARTISTS' LINE-UP in words, sound and vision

And here we come again, the music world arriving in Taranaki in March next year for three days of sound, vision, crafts, dance, food, words and so much more. As regular readers of these pages... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GOODFELLAS, a film by MARTIN SCORSESE: Making a killing in crime

GOODFELLAS, a film by MARTIN SCORSESE: Making a killing in crime

Within the ever-expanding genre of gangster flicks - from 1931 and James Cagney's Irish hood in Little Caesar to the quiet menace of Tony Soprano - there could never be consensus about the best... > Read more

Love: Forever Changes (1967)

Love: Forever Changes (1967)

When the British rock magazine Mojo published a special supplement on psychedelic rock back in February 2005, among the albums noted were all the usual suspects: Electric Ladyland by Jimi Hendrix... > Read more