Thursday, April 19, 2012

Artist of the Day: The Romanovs

I always find that looking into the past works of notable guest musicians of any project is a sure-fire way to be introduced to brilliant, yet relatively unknown, music. If nothing else, they would have needed to impress band X who took them on for an album or too, whilst not having a large enough fan base to proceed in their careers alone. Never has this been more true than with Morgan Kirby, now most known for her work on M83's 80's-style synth pop parade that is Saturdays = Youth, who previously headed a gothic-classical project called The Romanovs.

...and the Moon was Hungry..., first released in 2005, was to be their only release and despite the band's prevalent musical skill and plain oddness it was ignored by almost everyone. In fact, if not for an incredibly brief stint of posting music reviews on a gaming website, I would never have come across it. The first things to note about the Romanovs is that they would turn up to live shows in full early 20th century Russian garb. The range of instruments would usually stretch to a violin, keyboard and drums, though a wider variety of cellos and even electric guitars are used on a select number of tracks. The music itself is crazy to the point of being indescribable: amongst Kirby's almost perfect vocals, the lyrics might describe dreams of cannibalism, song's sometimes forget any structure half way though and everything is tied together with a confusing string of masochistic romance. In this case, I can almost guarantee that there's nothing else out there like it, and as an album ...and the Moon was Hungry... still manages to be completely watertight and, if I'm allowed to infer, absolutely outstanding.

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