Kira Lao (Кира Лао)

Kira Lao on-stage at Bu!Fest 2012, Moscow

Genre: Psychedelic rock, darkwave

After first coming to fame by winning the 2010 edition of Indyushata, Moscow’s premier competition for emerging bands, Kira Lao moved from Novgorod to the capital and bravely changed direction. Initially the band was a somewhat ethereal darkwave folk band, with elfin vocalist Kira Vainshtein looking every the inch the sprite from the depths of the Russian forest. A sound reinforced by cello and gusli – a folk instrument similar to a zither – underscored the folksy aspect, but since then the sound has got rather meatier. The first signs were audible on the band’s eponymous 2010 debut album, while by the start of 2012 the EP “Shalei” (Sage) Vainshtein herself was talking about a heavier sound. It isn’t exactly Metallica, of course, but while that EP had a strong hint of delicately wrought chamber music about it, recent live shows have ditched the strings and reverted to a conventional rock four-piece with swirling psychedelic synths increasingly prominent in the mix and a hint of punk raucousness at times. The future remains somewhat unclear, but whatever direction comes next, it seems sure to be an interesting journey.

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