Alina Orlova is no fan of social media, she uses an old worn-out mobile telephone. When it comes to lifestyle and music, she is a living rejection of most stereotypes associated with 21st-century celebrities. However, it cannot be denied that of all modern pop artists in Lithuania, Alina’s international profile is probably the highest. Her debut album Laukinis šuo dingo (Wild Dog Dingo, 2008) swept her straight out of the underground scene into big concert halls, newspaper headlines and television shows. Her music, full of mystery and melancholy, her unusual voice, her live performances with elements of ethereal cabaret: it was all the complete opposite of the predictable pop music that dominated the radio charts at the time. Even her personal story is quite unusual: growing up in a small town that was known only for its (now defunct) nuclear power station, she made music in her bedroom until her songs appeared on the Internet, and a record label signed her on the basis of her word-of-mouth popularity. She performed a sell-out concert at the age of 19, which included some of Lithuania’s grandest dignitaries and showbiz personalities in its audience. Since then, she has recorded two more studio albums (the latest, 88, was released in 2015), performed all over Europe and in the USA, played at Europe’s most important showcase festivals (including Eurosonic, The Great Escape and Tallinn Music Week), written film soundtracks, and recorded with well-known artists (including the Ukrainian star SunSay). Another career highlight came in 2013, when Alina performed her music with a local orchestra at Les Boreales festival in France (where, as in Russia and Ukraine, she has a dedicated fan base). Singing in Lithuanian, English and Russian, Alina is praised by Peter Jenner (formerly the manager of Pink Floyd, The Clash and Billy Bragg), the Travis lead singer Fran Healy, and Russia’s most influential critic Artyom Troitsky. One of her performances was filmed by the famous French ‘visual blogger’ Vincent Moon for his well-known ‘Take Away Show’ series. Whether performing solo piano shows or experimenting with full band and electronic sounds (as witnessed on her latest album), Alina remains one of the most intriguing talents of the Lithuanian music scene.
Stream/download this: Sailor / Lijo / Šilkas