From Kaliningrad, Russia (formerly my material ancestral Linn homeland of Koenigsberg, East Prussia) hail one of the most impressive psychedelic folk records I’ve heard in some time. From the cacophony of the violin starting the album, it morphs into a Beatlesque horn arrangement. Those few seconds set the tone for what I figured would be a very heavy listening experience.
Sunset Wings, led by singer and multi-instrumentalist Aleks Popov team on this album with fellow singer Evgeniy Brodsky. What makes the album crucial listening, along with the impressive instrumental array you will see below, is the adaptations by poets and writers like Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, Frances Shaw, Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Luca Bonandini, Karina Grebennikova, Roman Shiroukhov flow so easily into the psych genre. It’s easy to hear influences from artists like Jackson C. Frank and Nick Drake along with the aforementioned Beatles. This album would have been a collector’s gem had it come out in, say, 1971. That it is fresh-sounding today in 2022 is a tribute the the songwriters, the instrumentalists, and the way they weave poetry elegantly into this record.
Aleks Popov – voice, guitars, piano, percussion, glockenspiel, drum, zither, psaltery, music boxes, sounds
Evgeniy Brodsky – voice, guitars, piano, electronics
Evgeniy Milovanov – voice, fifes, drum
Marc Roberts – voice (2)
Anna Dushkina – viola, voice
Gleb Dushkin – violin, piano (13)
Anna Ivanova – cello
Marina Korchazhkina – cello
Marina Fadeyeva – flute
Aleksey Stepuchev – trumpet
Aleksey Bazhenov – clarinet
Ilya Ganichev – bassoon