Lately, Toronto has been churning out talented musical acts,
such as pop-rockers Broken Social Scene and electronic noodler
Manitoba. The Russian Futurists are yet another up-and-coming
Toronto band. The group features Matthew Adam Hart, a 25-year-old
who composes heartfelt pop songs in his bedroom with his keyboards
and drum machines. Hart’s musical style is reminiscent of
early Magnetic Fields, with a voice more akin to Wayne
Coyne’s of the Flaming Lips. The Russian Futurists envelop
their sound with lush cave-like echoes, which are present on
2003’s critically acclaimed Let’s Get Ready to
Crumble
.

Laura Wong
This bench is awfully uncomfortable. (Courtesy of Upper Class)

The crowd at the Pig was sparse, due to the show’s lack of
publicity and the fact that it was a Tuesday night. Most of the
patrons were supporters of the opening act, local band OttO Vector,
who need to rehearse more before unleashing their mediocre sound on
the suffering public.

The Russian Futurists played a short but pleasant set,
performing songs from their two albums as well as a few new ones.
Clad in endearingly nerdy polo shirts and nodding to the beat, Hart
and his three bandmates appeared to enjoy themselves, despite the
dead atmosphere. Hart jokingly introduced “Precious
Metals” as a rap song, though it actually juxtaposed bouncy
instrumentation with sadly reflective lyrics. A syncopated bass
keyboard line made “Let’s Get Ready to Crumble”
an infectious song that would have been danceable if there had been
more people in the audience. The Russian Futurists closed their set
with “You and the Wine,” a catchy pop song with
mechanized handclapping.

It’s unfortunate that few people were present at this
show, as The Russian Futurists’ well-crafted pop songs
translate nicely to the stage. Ann Arbor was the last stop on the
band’s brief U.S. tour, before it embarks on a tour of Spain
in May. After that, Hart hopes to release his new album this
summer. With any luck, more people will be listening to The Russian
Futurists’ appealingly earnest pop songs by then.

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