Brod grew up in Moscow listening to the Russian post-punk/new wave band KINO. "I played air guitar listening to their songs and imagined myself on stage. I liked spending time like this better than hanging out with the other kids," he remembers. Pompeya formed about 10 years ago, when Brod joined forces with keyboardist Sasha Lipisky and bassist Denis Agafonov. "We met each other through the internet, and after one jam together decided to become a band."
Pompeya brings an '80s-influenced synth-pop sound that underground music connoisseurs in the U.S. might be used to. But their relaxed, chill-wave tempo stood out as dramatically different in the Russian music scene when they first got their start. Their first album, Tropical , was released in 2011 and became an indie hit throughout Eastern Europe. It garnered even more attention in the West when a remix album featuring tracks produced by house music heavy-hitters Felix Da Housecat, Fred Falke, and Jimmy Edgar came out. They began touring the U.S. and scoring heavy-rotation slots on college campuses, including the University of Miami's award-winning WVUM-FM (90.5).
For their sophomore album, Real, Pompeya recorded across the U.S. in four cities they'd never before visited: Philadelphia, New York City, Savannah, and Orlando. "Before the recording, we did 35 demos for two years. There was a huge range of influences — hard to say what was the main inspiration. When we came up with the last demo of the song called "Real," I felt that it could be a good [uniting] idea for the whole record."
With Real not even a year old, Pompeya is already working on new music. "Expect to hear the new EP very soon," Brod says. "We are gonna challenge ourselves to create a national super-hit."
Brod couldn't recall specifics from the group's last sojourn to South Florida, but he's confident this six-date tour playing cuts from their first two albums will be different. Fans checking out the group at Rhythm & Vine's first-annual Rhythm Fest on May 29 can expect to hear "some good, dance-y vibes performed with the guitars, but not with the DJ equipment," says Brod. "Last time in Miami was fun — hardly remember the details. So let's get some fresh experiences together now."
With DJ Craze, Millionyoung, and more at the 1st Annual Rhythm Fest. 12 p.m. Sunday, May 29, at Rhythm & Vine, 401 NE 5th Ter., Fort Lauderdale 33301. Admission is free. Bottomless brunch costs $20. Visit Facebook for more info.