PHOTOS: Letters To Nepal live at Arlene’s Grocery



PHOTOS: Letters To Nepal live at Arlene’s Grocery

Third time’s the charm, no? Last Saturday, at the Lower East Side’s long standing music venue Arlene’s Grocery, I saw Letters to Nepal for the third time. First time happened more or less accidentally at Spike Hill and then the second time at Bar Matchless  for CMJ 2014 (photos & review). While Letters to Nepal’s main line-up stayed the same  -minus the drummer- with Evgeniya Kuznetsova (vocals), Tanya Durkeena (keyboards) and Anton Fadeev (synths) their musical and visual style has evolved.

Saying their style has ‘improved’ wouldn’t do this immensely talented band justice, since they did put out catchy electro pop before, which now evolved to music that’s even more electronic, yet still highly enjoyable, catchy and pretty much “zeitgeist”.

Notice the guitar gone missing? Replaced by Anton’s mind-blowingly fast and skillful use of Maschine.  While previously Anton also brought his guitar on stage, he told us that his true roots lie in playing bass, hence Maschine would suit him more. (We certainly were deeply impressed.) Since Maschine and a laptop fit so snuggly into a small bag, Anton had room for bringing a full-sized didgeridoo on stage and open the show with a traditional Russian folk tune, which Evgeniya sang in Russian.

== All concert photos by – Elke Nominikat and Oliver Bouchard ==

There was nothing folkloristic about the remainder of their show though, except for one song when Evgeniya played on a Nepalese (?) instrument, all their songs are sung in English and as forementioned played with state-of-the-art instruments and technology. Going to a live show of Letters To Nepal is not just delectable for your earbuds but for your eyes as well, because Evgeniya understands perfectly well how to move on stage, get your attention and how to ultimately mesmerize you… and in the end, you wish they’d start from the beginning again, with didgeridoo and all.

While there’s no brand new material available -yet-, there’s still Letters to Nepal’s old(er) material to be heard, which gives you a good idea of what to expect. A favorite track of mine would be Doll – a fun, intriguing tune that features Evgeniya’s charming voice beautifully -at times she reminds me of a smoother version of Sweden’s Robyn- and showcases Anton’s many musical talents when he brings out all these screeching and howling sounds of his guitar. Love it!

YouTube to the rescue, because there is in deed new music of Letters to Nepal to be enjoyed! Anton and Evgeniya made the best out of this extraordinarily cold winter in New York and produced this mesmerizing video. Hailing originally from Siberia, I am tempted to believe Evgeniya’s joy in the snow. See for yourself:

Putting Winter behind us though, and to bridge the time until we can see Letters to Nepal live again or listen to their new music digitally, let’s enjoy Think About It for the time being, which should push us past Spring right into a hot Summer night parties!

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