New Music \

Catch the Buzz: Alina Simone

Singer-songwriter covers the haunting tunes of cult Russian folk singer.

Helen Matatov // July 24, 2008

Who? This Ukrainian-born, Siberian-traveling, one-time Texas street performer has charmed critics and indie rockers alike with her stripped-down moody tunes about transient life. Ultimately, her wandering soul reconnected with her roots and discovered Siberian punk-folk legend Yanka Dyagileva. On her second full-length, Everyone is Crying Out to Me, Beware, the now Brooklyn-based Simone unleashes her powerful pipes-often evoking Chan Marshall-and employs the sparse guitar bits that put her on the map into an affecting tribute to cult favorite Dyagileva. Don’t speak a word of Russian? No Problem. Simone captures the despair of the tragic icon, preventing the songs from becoming lost in translation. To flesh out the originally bare bones tracks, the singer-songwriter infused trumpet, cello, and slide guitar, but retains a lo-fi sound. Intense indeed, but certainly catchy.

Her latest: Sophomore full-length, Everyone is Crying Out to Me, Beware, scheduled for an Aug. 5 CD release via 54º 40′ or Fight! and on vinyl through Topple.

Recommended if you like… Cat Power, P.J. Harvey, Joanna Newsom

Now Hear This: “Half My Kingdom” Download MP3