About Alina
Alina Simone was born in Kharkov, Ukraine. Her family emigrated to the United States after her father refused resisted recruitment by the KGB and was blacklisted for "refusal to cooperate." Simone grew up in suburban Massachusetts (where she watched Mary Lou Lord singing in subway stations), and after college she hit the road. She began her musical career busking on the streets of Austin, then moved to New York City and performed with local rock band Emma la Reina before moving to North Carolina. Wherever she calls home, Simone spends a part of each year in Russia, often traveling to Siberia.

Prettier in the Dark, Simone's critically-acclaimed EP, was released in 2005. In 2007 she followed up with an album, Placelessness (54 40 or Fight! Records). A departure from her stripped-down solo style, Placelessness features a range of songs with full band arrangements, strings, and unique found instruments.

Everyone Is Calling Out To Me, Beware began with a random stroke of luck in the winter of 2001. Recently arrived in New York City, Simone went for a walk in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn - an historically Russian neighborhood where shop signs are written in Cyrillic instead of English. Two young men were busking on the sidewalk, playing an acoustic guitar and singing in Russian. Simone struck up a conversation, during which she discovered that New York had a small but enthusiastic Russian rock scene. Her new friends invited her to join them at a concert the following week. When she did, one of the young men gave her a cassette tape simply labeled Yanka. "Here," he said. "I think you'll like this."

She did. After listening to the homemade mix of Yanka Dyagileva's music, Simone returned to Brighton Beach and bought as many of her CDs as she could find at the Russian record store. As Simone says now, "That was it."

In the seven years that have elapsed since Alina met Yanka, Simone has honed her skills by performing in clubs and at music festivals around the world. The New Yorker has called her voice “potent and ethereal,” and Venus characterized her songwriting as “mysterious, gritty and raw.” With these interpretations of Yanka's songs, Simone has paid fitting tribute to a woman who might have received similar accolades, had she lived.



Praise for Alina Simone’s previous releases, Prettier in the Dark (2005) and Placelessness (54° 40' or Fight! Records, 2007)

Pitchfork: Simone rejects the generically folksy strum that keeps many talented singers stuck on the coffeeshop circuit, choosing instead to wrap her smoldering voice around dark, fractured arrangements that tremble on the verge of vanishing entirely – guitars that begin in two-note figures soon settle into one, rare embellishments like farfisa and trombone seem to come from far away, and percussion tiptoes in geological time, when it appears at all.

The New Yorker: Alina Simone, a sprightly Ukrainian-born, suburban-Boston-raised songwriter with a richly textured voice, celebrates the release of her new album, Placelessness, which evokes but does not mimic many of the pop milestones of the past decade, including the fractured beats of Radiohead and the exuberance of Björk.

PopMatters: Her familiar yet distinct pipes curl around minor chord melodies like smoke.. and prove as capable of carrying a full-on rock assault as they are of gnarled, noir indie folk.

Venus: Simone has been compared to Cat Power and Rebecca Gates, and I can hear that. Like Chan Marshall, she leads with her voice, and her eagerness to follow that voice down just about any dark, misty path is scary and arresting.



For Everyone is Crying Out to Me, Beware release show details, click here.
For more about Yanka Dyagileva, click here.
For album lyrics, click here.

Media inquiries: general [at] themayanempire.com


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