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Maria Minerva on Not Not Fun; Wind in Willows on Hooker Vision

Published August, 2011
by Easterndaze

At least two acts hailing from the former Ost Block have released on respected US imprints recently. Interestingly, both of the acts are from post-Soviet countries (don’t worry, we are not going to start a political tirade here:). The Estonian chanteuse Maria Minerva has been making waves in the last few months with releases on Amanda Brown’s 100% Silk and Not Not Fun imprints. Boomkat compared her to Nite Jewel and we are sure there will be other comparisons flowing. It’s obvious why Minerva’s fuzzy lofi pop struck a chord with the North American label.

Currently based in London, Minerva, at least according to this interview, seems to be in touch with her Baltic roots. “Well, I did grow up in an independent country (we’ve been independent since 1991) but pop culture-wise we still don’t have that much happening, and I’ve always found that very frustrating. Coming from the periphery, it’s probably easier to be just a weirdo instead of trying very hard to sound like any other European or American quality indie act. My badass badness is probably my biggest strength.”  Her new full-length release Cabaret Cixous is out now on Not Not Fun.

Another act to sign a pact with a US underground staple is the Russian project Wind in Willows. Its name is telling, almost in an onomatopoetic way. Breezy ambient soundscapes infused with a customary dose of psychedelia flow freely through analogue sonicspheres recalling Russia’s complex and at the same time limitless landscape.. WiW’s split release with Bedroom Bear is out now on Hooker Vision.  Wind in Willows self-released another split last week with St. Atom as a free download.

BEDROOM BEAR- Skate Breeze (excerpt) by Hooker Vision

WIND IN WILLOWS- Aurora Hover (excerpt) by Hooker Vision