Shortparis are well on their way to deserved international acclaim and already being heralded as “the best Russian live act”. Hailing from St. Petersburg and led by charismatic frontman Nikolay Komiagin, the band continues to build a reputation for its jaw-dropping ritualistic performances and dark, electronic soundscapes, as “irrational, spastic dance grooves” converge with “post-punk, experimental noise and acoustic chanson” to form a musical aesthetic that is one of a kind.

Performing in Russian, French and English, Shortparis are nothing short of a revelation as they aim to provide a fitting soundtrack to their everyday lives, a sound that mirrors St. Petersburg as it was and is. “You know, I constantly dream of coming across bands like Shortparis yet so rarely do,” writes John Doran of The Quietus. “Ambitious, bombastic, incredibly pretentious, erotic, thrilling, impossible to pin down, vaguely deviant, fun to dance to and full of revolutionary potential. Sure, if you listen hard enough you can hear them laughing but you would be a fool to make the mistake of presuming that they’re joking.”

Their music videos are almost equally intense and leave room for interpretation. Take the companion visuals to “Страшно” (Strashno / transl. “Scary”) for instance. The lyrics reflect a current state of anxiety as the visuals try to reveal a sort of ongoing hysteria. Only hours after filming at a school, someone called the police about possible terrorist activities: “Our music video is trying to manifest the state of some part of our generation. It is provocative and refers to some social tragedies, which are not reflected in our visual culture. Taboos and fears are opened up: no matter what is written in Arabic letters, ‘love’ or ‘friendship’, it must be terrorism, bald heads must mean nazis, and so on. But after all this play with meanings, only anxiety stays and it grows.”

Vocals, piano  – Nikolay Komiagin
Drums, Sampling – Pavel Lesnikov
Guitar, Bass, Accordion – Aleksandr Ionin
Drums, Percussion – Danila Kholodkov

New album is out YABLONNY SAD

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Shortparis have performed and impressed the audience at several renowned festivals across Europe: Reeperbahn festival (DE), Le Guess Who festival (NL), Grauzeone festival (NL), Trans musicales Rennes (FR), FiftyFiftyLab Brussels (BE), Waves Vienna (AT), The Great Escape (UK), Liverpool Sound City (UK), Donau Festival (A), Winterbeat (DK), Pohoda (SK), Fusion festival Germany, Pop-Kultur festival Berlin Germany, Haldern Pop festival Germany, OFF festival Poland, Europavox festival Italy, MENT festival Slovenia, Spring Break Poznan Poland, Festival de La Cité in Lausanne Switzerland, Valkhof festival The Netherlands, Welcome to The Village The Netherlands, Yaga Gathering festival Lithuania, Entremuralhas festival Portugal, Dyagilev festival Perm Russia.

Press and media cuts

Mary Anne Hobbs, BBC 6 Music after the show at MENT festival: “I was DJing after you at MENT festival in Slovenia. Your live set blew me away.”

Again, as with most current bands who end up being described as post punk, they don’t actually sound anything like any post punk bands that I can name, instead they share a convergent and parallel sonic evolution with other, more recent post punk fans, especially those with a serious commitment to servicing the dancefloor, such as Health, Re-TROS, Snapped Ankles, Algiers, My Disco and Liars. … You know, I constantly dream of coming across bands like Shortparis yet so rarely do. Ambitious, bombastic, incredibly pretentious, erotic, thrilling, impossible to pin down, vaguely deviant, fun to dance to and full of revolutionary potential. Sure, if you listen hard enough you can hear them laughing but you would be a fool to make the mistake of presuming that they’re joking. John Doran, The Quietus

It’s a truly staggering piece of work with high standards of inventiveness and integrity in not being a pastiche. Although the band already have an album out they’ve not really made moves in the UK yet but things are changing: after their impressive performance at MENT Mary Anne Hobbs premiered their track on 6Music. And John Robb from Louder Than War, and The Quietus wrote gushing reviews of the set. Could be a big year for Shortparis, this. Cai Trefor, Gigwise.

“Stunning set from St Petersburg, Russia and the latest brilliant band to emerge from the East as yet another part of the all-consuming New Russian Wave who meld the stark industrial landscapes of Belgian New Beat, mid-period Einsturzende Neubauten with the stadium possibilities of Depeche Mode but with their own imaginative edge and a charismatic singer who delivers the vocals with a captivating chanson falsetto and Russian melodies”. John Robb, Louderthanwar.

“.. our jaws drop as we witness a totally dark and very lethal 21st-century electronic deconstruction of Front 242, new beat, goth pop/Communards-meets-High-Gloss-Sisters underpinned by a ferocious drumming attack that sounded as if it was from a Shellac LP. (It’s also worth noting that the incredible, lissome, hard-hitting drummer was a stand-in. A stand-in! Those who saw it won’t believe it.)They are four intense lads from St Petersburg who hammered out one of the most powerful sets I have seen in years, akin to being on a runway, such was the concentrated noise. The singer’s incredibly powerful – if slightly erratic – baritone sandblasted ears: imagine a very heavy take on Jimmy Somerville or Billy Mac, a voice that projected vast and deep vats of existential despair. He was also very keen on throwing some confrontational shapes out to the crowd. By the end he was in among the petrified punters, rubbing the mic against his crotch and getting the incredible drummer to join in his suggestive dancing. Blimey.” Richard Foster, The Quietus

“Amazing Russian band who combine a post industrial electronic throb with a haunting falsetto vocal, guitars, Belgian new beat and soundtrack into a compelling and brilliant whole. Their music is full of groundbreaking action and intensity and a dark and melancholic danger, they are the post darkwave, they have the songs and the charisma to fill the Depeche Mode stadium circuit, they sound like the 21st century now, they make electronics sound warm and human and full of vim and fuck and the singer does these wild sex dances that part hypnotise the audience and part terrify them. In short Shortparis are the band of the moment.
This is a true death disco – a post-industrial dark and thrilling ride on the dark side that you can dance to. A thrilling combination of electronics and post-punk deconstruction with operatic vocals. They are 2018. They are the now.» John Robb, Louderthanwar.

Catharsis. Salvation. Shortparis. This audacious dance groove, fusing dark electronica, post-punk, noise and chanson, is irresistibly catchy. Anchored in the decadent aesthetic of the labyrinths of the Russian soul, with French or even English lyrics, it erases the line between concert and theatre. The audience includes Ian Curtis, Siouxsie Sioux, Blixa Bargeld, Peter Murphy and Nick Cave. Ian is dancing in a corner by himself, Siouxsie is pouring red wine over the front rows, Blixa and Nick are doing the tango, Peter is booking tickets to Russia.  MENT Ljubljana 2018


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