GRAI (Russia): O Zemle Rodnoy (Vic Records)
GRAI plays a particularly catchy style of folky, Oktoberfest beer hall music. The upbeat drumming (energized with double-bass in places), the constant quantity of the flute and Irina’s very clean singing makes all their songs instantly likable.
GRAI has the potential to appeal to a very broad audience because it is light and upbeat and happy folky stuff. Irina’s singing style is a pleasant melodic voice that is not too high, but very melodic. For the most part, it is not that super high Nightwish style, but more like a person singing in her own natural voice, and only on occasion going for the higher register, like on “Zimnaya Skazka (A Winter Tale).”
The band utilizes the growl voice sparingly, so it is mostly a clean-singing band, with some moments of growling. This is a good decision on their part because, to these ears, the growling does not particularly fit this style of light, poppy and folk-dancy songs.
I would imagine that this band will be huge in Europe, with those audiences that eat up the folky stuff, given that every song sounds like a “hit,” starting with “Pshenychnaya (The Wheat Song)” and “Pesn O Zemle Rodnoy (About Our Native Land).” The songs are not too long and vary between 3 and 5 minutes, with some going a bit longer or shorter.Investigate if you like folksy, happy songs. You will be very impressed with the vibe of the band. www.vicrecords.com