Башня Rowan (eng. Rowan Tower) was formed in 1995 by Tikkey A. Shelyen, poet and singer, who was strongly linked to St.-Petersburg folk rock bands like Птица Си (eng. Si Bird) and Р*ождество (eng. Christmas).
This band has changed many times, but has mainly consisted of Tikkey (acoustic guitar, vocal), the violinist, bassist, and drummer. Since 1999 they have also included the keyboardist and guitarist sometimes. The members of the band now are: Tikkey A. Shelyen, Alina Zaitseva (keyboard), Anna Kostikova (violin), Vladimir Yanovskiy (bass), Andrey Charupa (drums), Nikita Trubitsyn (saxophone) and Stas Valishin (administrator).
Their style can be characterized as quite text-oriented, thanks to Tikkey's virtuosity in poetry and songwriting. The lyrics are very sophisticated, complex and full of allusions. So if you don't know Russian, it's a loss. But their songs are also one of the most melodic and beautiful examples of contemporary folk rock. Their concerts are always full of life, energy and charming music, in which Tikkey's voice takes the first place.
The first album, Марш Уродов (eng. March of Morally Depraved Persons), recorded in 1998, shows very strong influence of Irish folk, British folk-rock (Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention, Pentangle and Spiro Gyra), classic rock of the 60's and Russian folk (The Dartz, for example).
In the second album, Horribile Dictu, which consists of the records made in Зоопарк (eng. Zoo, that time one of their city's main clubs to non-pop and underground bands), the band first tends towards art-rock and jazz. Alla Kouznetsova, their first keyboardist, and Vita Shkryapkina (Svetlana Selyugina), the violinist, succeeded in creating a unique musical style and language - and, with greatly improved poetical skills of their leader, this album won them one of the strongest positions on St.-Petersburg underground scene. This was in 2000.
Пчеловечность (Beeternity, as they translate one of the Carroll-like words), is hardened by the rock-influenced drummer and guitarist, and resembles closer acquaintance with the energetic and dark blues.
In the next album, Ab Laternae, the band reached stability and somewhat matured at once. In this album the listeners can find old songs full of new sound, energy and musical mastership, but also many loved songs, long waited to be recorded. The style is very complex, now satiated with strong hard rock and blues melodies. The dominancy of Rowan Tower on the Russian underground scene, especially among the young generation listeners, singers and creators (some of whom can be found in the LJ's Rowan Tower community), is essential.
Free tracks can be downloaded at their offical website, www.rowan.ru.
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