KAUAN was formed in 2005 by Anton Belov in Chelyabinsk, Russia and is now based in Kiev, Ukraine. Belov is becoming increasingly known for his piano music in addition to the music of KAUAN, and some of it appears here, including “Kolmogorova Theme”, chosen by Nils Frahm to be part of the official Piano Day 2017 playlist.

The music is often instrumental, but when lyrics appear, they are sung in Finnish, deliberately chosen because so few (~5.5 million) speak it, allowing Belov to use the human voice as an instrument yet maintain a sense of mystery and abstraction. Haunting yet beautiful vocalese is provided by Alina Belova, adding a spectral element to the pieces. Kauan’s music evokes feelings of languor and nostalgia, drawing upon viola, choirs, slow and melancholic piano melodies, ambient vibes and a neoclassical approach.

“Kauan is a Russian band that lives in Ukraine and sings in Finnish, but the timeless and gorgeous Sorni nai translates to any language.” –Stereogum