Venya D’rkin / Веня Д’ркин

Venya D’rkin (Веня Д’ркин; originally Aleksandr Litvinov, Александр Литвинов) was a Ukrainian (Russian-speaking) poet, songwriter, musician, artist, and storyteller, and one of the later generation of bards. He had a much more informal, unpolished image than some other recent musicians, showing his truly countercultural ethos. D’rkin grew up in a small mining town near Luhansk. […]

Posle 11 / После 11

Posle 11 (После 11, After 11) is a Russian folk-pop group, originally hailing from Saratov. The band got their start in 1999 when three Saratov Conservatory students—Yuri Postarnakov (Юрий Постарнаков), Andrei Zverev (Андрей Зверев), and Nikolai Feoktistov (Николай Феоктистов)—participated in a song competition in honor of Aleksandr Pushkin’s 200th birthday. Their song “Little Star” (“Звёздочка”) […]

Iva Nova / Ива Нова

Iva Nova (Ива Нова; the name translates to “new willow”) is a Russian experimental folk-punk group. They combine elements of punk, blues, tango, and other styles with Russian folk music, creating a sound that has been hailed by rock journalists as radically innovative and interesting.  Their band website proclaims that they’re an “alternative ethno-extreme that […]

Bobsleigh / Бабслей

Bobsleigh (Бабслей—though note that this is not the usual Russian word for “bobsleigh” and is perhaps also a play on the Russian word баба, “woman”) were one of Russia’s first successful folk-punk bands. The band formed in St. Petersburg in 1998 initially as a bit of a joke. The members all loved folk music, but, […]

Melnitsa / Мельница

Melnitsa (Мельница; translates as Windmill) is a Celtic folk rock group from Russia. Founded by Natalia O’Shea, whose stage name is Hellawes, the group’s current members are Aleksey Orlov (electric violin, violin, mandolin), Aleksey Kozhanov (bass guitar, acoustic guitar), Dmitriy Frolov (drums), Sergey Vishnyakov (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, backup vocals), Dmitriy Kargin (flute), and O’Shea […]

Natalia O’Shea / Наталья О’Шей (Hellawes / Хелависа)

Natalia O’Shea (Наталья Андреевна О’Шей) performs self-composed Celtic folk rock in Russian. She has released music as part of the popular folk band Melnitsa (Мельница) and as a solo artist under her stage name Hellawes (Хелависа). She is also a linguist and a specialist in Celtic languages. Hellawes studied piano at music school, but her […]

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