in the Ukraine and raised in Boston suburbia, it wasn1t until she
Alina Simone performs songs from her forthcoming release, Everyone Is Crying Out to Me, Beware, an inspired album of covers of the glasnost-era Siberian punk poet Yana Stanislavovna Dyagileva. Known as Yanka, this remarkable songwriter, who had a yearning voice and favored rebellious lyrics, grew up in Novosibirsk, hooked up with the Siberian punk scene in 1985, and died mysteriously six years later, at the age of twenty-four. Simone has done a great service in bringing these treasures to non-Russian audiences. (Yanka’s recorded output included just twenty-nine original songs, all of which circulated on samizdat cassettes.) Simone’s innovative versions reveal her many similarities to her heroine—most prominently, her haunting voice. The greatest difference is in the presentation. Yanka’s sound was spare and gritty, driven mainly by her acoustic guitar. Simone’s arrangements are fleshed out with trumpet, viola, slide guitar, and bajo sexto. -The New Yorker
It's hard to remember
a female pop vocalist (Cat Power? PJ Harvey?) who earned the ecstatic
early accolades to match Alina Simone's. For this unmissable engagement—her
last in the area before a long European tour—the sophisticated
Ukraine-born singer-songwriter celebrates the music of Yanka Dyagileva,
a likely suicide who was Russia's erstwhile answer to Patti Smith.
- New York Magzine
Video: Riot Act
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Alina Simone | Polk039
Simone | Polk032