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

Niko Ne Zna: Niko Ne Zna EP (Monkey)

Niko Ne Zna: Niko Ne Zna EP (Monkey)

The interest in good time "gypsy" music continues after the success of the Benka Borodovsky Bordello Band (with whose style I had some problem). This outfit from Wellington -- sax,... > 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

PRIME ROCKS, CLASSIC ALBUM (2018): Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' Damn the Torpedoes

PRIME ROCKS, CLASSIC ALBUM (2018): Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' Damn the Torpedoes

Prime commemorates the anniversary of Tom Petty’s death with this special encore. Damn The Torpedoes, the third album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. It's probably no longer true... > Read more

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Green River

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Green River

In a freewheeling and enjoyable interview before a solo show in 2005, John Fogerty -- mainman behind CCRevival -- laughed about how at the height of the counterculture in the late Sixties bands... > Read more