Believe it or not, listening to some Russian music will help you a lot with your understanding of the language and its grammar structures. I can tell it to you since I’ve experienced it first hand. Though you may feel a little bit overwhelmed at the beginning because of the river of new words, it’ll get better and better and will definitely boost you listening and comprehension skills. Now, if you mean to take a step into this multifaceted world, I’ve got some very good artists of various genres to begin with.
Let’s start this off with a bang, I’m glad to introduce you the newborn star of Russian music. This very young singer from Ekaterinburg has the freshest tracks in the game. Her beats range from 80’s pop atmosphere to more disco/EDM, but what her songs have in common is a very dense and up to date content: It goes from a kinda protest against the system to an expression of youth problems by way of broken romance. As for me, i find her lyrics interesting because can convey meaningful messages while resulting pleasing to the ear.
How could have I ever forgotten to mention my favourites. This band, well known among foreigners for their instant classic dated back to 2016 “В Питере пить”, is into social-linked themes too. They try to give a faithful representation of Russian reality, always giving it a twist of their own. So, if you want to have a better understanding of Russian modern culture, mentality, and habits, all expressed in a kinda explicit way they’re the way to go. As for me, i think it lightens the whole thing and gives it a nice touch. Strongly suggested!
Here both the lyrics and the sound are completely different from those of any other artist we’ve taken into consideration so far. I’d say that their harshness and causticity perfectly reflect the troubled childhood and adolescence of this singer, who lived between Russia, Germany and the UK in a very difficult situation money-wise. As for his sound, it is up to date, perfectly fitting in the “trap wave” that’s lately been spreading from the US.
Here they are, the never-out-of-fashion band coming straight from the 90’s and still on top of their game.
I think this evergreen band’s name embodies so faithfully their “philosophy” and idea of Russian music. In fact, these musicians really put that сплин (spleen) into their songs with their melodies, instrumental music and texts about ended love stories, the ever-repeating and never-changing cycle of life. But, that’s to say, there’s more to it, they sometimes “seem to indulge” in rare moments of happiness. Their “happy” productions are usually about love and have either soft rock sounds, or a more folk atmosphere with an acoustic guitar in the background and rhymes that can be described as sort of a medieval ballad.
Last but not least, for all our rock ‘n’ roll lovers we have Земфира. Her songs have a kinda sad atmosphere and they sound rock but soft at the same time, which I really love by the way, probably because of the very basic instruments she uses, mostly electric/acoustic guitar with a light drum background. Other characteristics of this songwriter’s tracks are the melancholic lyrics, about love either broken or flourishing or goodbyes transmitting a sensation of deep inner loneliness.
As per above, this is nothing like ACDC or Metallica with their powerful and “pumping” songs. Her rhythm is slower, but I’d say it perfectly fits in a setting like a summer night, while chilling out with friends sitting around a bonfire on the beach.
With “Russian music for dummies” that’s pretty much it. Hope you’ll enjoy listening to the artists I’ve suggested you and that it’ll give you a head start in order to achieve all the goals you set.
One more advice for you. In order to get an easy and cheap access to all the Russian music you want, you can download Yandex Music that’s available on both Google Play and Apple Appstore (ca 3$/month).