Russian band Theodor Bastard may sound a bit sinister, and the video clip for their latest single, ‘Les’, is somewhat confronting, but don’t let that put you off at all – their music comes directly from heaven.
The video clip feels like an outtake from the Sandra Bullock series, ‘Bird Box’, with a woman wandering aimlessly through the forest, her eyes hidden under a blindfold. It’s deep in the Russian winter, with wolves, surreal dancers that sway as if under the power of a cult, and frost, and a crashed truck. At one point the woman, Yana Yeva, sings from the truck’s bonnet; it’s apparent she’s crashed through.
The plants in the forest are significant, not least of all the wolfberry, for which Fedor Bastard named the band’s latest album, ‘Volch’ya Yagoda’: while the wolfberry is dangerous if eaten, it’s medicinal properties make it invaluable.
Frontwoman Yana Veva’s vocals are ethereal and compelling; the band sometimes writes in Russian, sometimes in ancient languages – and sometimes Veva sings in a tongue of her own making. Combined with their sonic blend of Nordic folk, trip-hop, experimental and atmospheric music, their songs could easily find their way to the soundtrack of a Nordic Noir drama; think ‘Wallander’, or ‘The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo’ – all snow and ice, but with a fire at its heart.
Watch the video for ‘Les’ below, and let Theodor Bastard’s music flow over and into you. You can find out more about the band and their gorgeous recordings online on their official website.