In the middle of Russia, behind Ural mountains, actually almost on border between Europe and Asia, lays a fourth biggest city of the country, Yekaterinburg. Looking at its location, it’s not so hard to think out, that temperatures below 40 degrees Celsius below zero are nothing surprising to anyone there. But that’s exactly the place, where one of most meaningful russian bands playing music originating from sunny Jamaica was formed. I’m talking about Lollypop Lorry here, and there’s a very good reason to mention them right now. Yesterday they’ve released a brand new album titled “Ural Station”.
It’s worth to notice the title of this record. It looks like residents of Yekaterinburg are not very fond of calling their region a part of Syberia. In fact even according to official administrative division the city is main center of Ural Federal District. So, remembering that I’m writing about Uralites here, let’s get to their musical work.
During last 10 years (yes, they are RudeMaker’s age-mates, happy birthday!) they’ve self-released few EPs or minialbums emphasizing internet on their distribution strategy. There’s lots of magnificent sounding jamaican classics covers, a little less of their own compositions. Anyway, instrumental ska-jazz in the best form – there’s no lack of that on those recordings. The apogee of that, still kinda niche period is a recording session at Octopus studio. This one brilliant move let the band reach a little more mass audience and launch upon the high seas. Whole session was uploaded as videos to YouTube.
Stats showing tens of thousands views, as of course very cool, still are not some particular shock. But if we look at “I Wont Let You Go”, cover of The Blues Busters, we’ll see that almost 2 million people have watched this clip and that’s a pretty serious situation. I think you could risk a statement, that main factor of this popularity is a stunnig vocal of Svetlana Eremeeva. Her voice is definitely one of the fillars of Lollypop Lorry’s stregth nowadays. If you can belive internet, she has joined the band in 2015 and during a session mentioned above she appears only in one song. Still we shoul definitely consider this lineup change as bull’s eye. It sounded simply fantastic. Perfect voice supported by magnificent musicians rising to great heights of ska-jazz – it’s just impossible not to like it.
In two years from “Live at Octopus” session (btw it was later released in digital format), band has obviously managed to compose little more of their own repertoir and stopped leaning mostly on covers – it’s the original songs, that are supposed to make contents of a new rocord. I don’t want to spoil your fun in discovering “Ural Station”, so I’ll just mention that nothing has changed about highest level of ska-jazz. There’s also more place for Svetlana’s vocal. You’ll find some reggae or even soul there too.
Actually you can check it all out by yourself, the album is available right now in all major streaming services. Anyway I recommend taking a look at a vinyl version, released by a Moscow based label Magnetic Loft Records. Limited to only 300 pieces, with its beautiful cover, will surealy make a perfect addition to your collection.