Recently I was in Estonia for the Tallinn Music Week. Saw a bunch of interesting bands - this is the first in a series of posts (probably) on them.
Probably the most pure entertainment-!wow! was this Russian outfit Glintshake.
The video above is the best of the ones I could find on YouTube and it doesn't go anywhere near to conveying their force-of-personality live - although you do get a glimpse of singer / guitarist Kate Shilonosova's charisma and her repertoire of facial expressions and hand gestures.
That shortfall reminded me - even though they have nothing in common musically or in terms of stage presentation – of Fishbone: an astonishing entertainment onstage but they never seemed able to bottle it on record.
Live, Glintshake was obviously a lot louder and in your face (it was a small space in Old Town Tallinn, astonishingly crammed - there's a big buzz about the group - and hot, steamy, and actually a bit smelly). But also the band's wiry punk-funk sound just jumped and writhed and swerved and sparked so much more. Shilonosova's arch "startled" expressions and steadying-my-balance body-moves conveyed perfectly the feeling of being jolted and tumbled by the music. It looked like she was perpetually skidding on an icy pavement and only just managing to stay upright.
The name "Glintshake" puzzled me a bit and that minor mystery wasrevealed when I went back to check out their earlier material from 2014, which is shoegaze-derivative both sound-wise and image-wise. Thankfully they seem to have chucked all that in the bin and embarked upon intensive studies of the works of the Fire Engines, Contortions, possibly Big Flame, maybe even Stump. But all that antipop angularity and friction is sluiced through New Wave aesthetics (little bit of Lene Lovich in the mix, maybe, but without the operatics) and the result ends up very pop: catchy, boppy, fun.
Kate Shilonosova also has a solo career bubbling away and was given a mini-profile in the New Yorker recently, would you believe.
The approach couldn't be further from Glintshake - 21st Century hip eclectronica with a pop finish.
The dainty/dinky/airy quality is almost Japanese in sensibility. Those breathy buttery Sarah Cracknell/Sally Shapiro vocals. Nice, but I much prefer her rolled r's and more jagged delivery in Glintshake.