The traditionally protracted Russian winter this year is more than ever encouraging to find solace in a variety of music: minor and indecently joyful, raising serious topics and simply forcing to dance. The past month has managed to cover all these areas. Indie legends Metronomy and Foals have released optimistic pop ballads, Moderat has returned from a creative vacation with the single FAST LAND, Red Hot Chili Peppers have reunited with John Fruschante, and the Moscow band Thank You has released a video about love and fear of death. We talk about these and other major releases of the month, collected in the playlist “Lenty.ru” on Sbersvuk.
Metronomy – Right On Time
In the dark times of the world, the British indie band Metronomy throws its lifeline in the form of the first Small World record in three years, in which participants, like most of us, look back and try to cling to good but rapidly escaping memories. Now their kind, careful and therapeutic music seems both quite inappropriate and the most appropriate. After all, it helps to teleport to 10-15 years ago – then Metronomy had not yet become a legend of the indie scene, but already released tracks that have the effect of a warm and soft blanket. According to the band’s founder Joseph Mount, the same mood is in the single Right On Time: “It’s just another thoughtlessly optimistic song about enjoying the sunlight. I remember the summer of 2020. It was very hot. Everyone suddenly realized that yes, you can not see your family and suffer from all sorts of things, but the street is incredibly sunny and beautiful. Just find where the sun’s rays hit you in the face and you’ll feel better. “
Elzhi & Georgia Anne Muldrow – Strangeland
Another novelty with teleportation properties (this time in the days of warm retro hip-hop) is the first single Strangeland, which will be included in the upcoming joint release of Detroit rapper Elzhi and California diva Georgia Anne Muldrow. The track lacks the charming voice of the latter, but given that Muldrow is not only a performer, but also a producer and multi-instrumentalist, her contribution can be assessed by the enveloping arrangement, which equally well reflects the nature of her work and what the ex-participant does. Slum Village and the master of intricate texts Elzhi. Zhigeist’s longplay is just around the corner – the release is scheduled for March 11, and, according to the description, this upcoming project is a “carefully thought-out mix of psychedelic instruments and hurricane lyrics.”
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Black Summer
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are back with the announcement of their 12th album and a new single, which from the very first seconds reads both the sound of RHCP and the manner of performance of Anthony Kidd. Moreover, guitarist John Fruschante has rejoined the band, and his handwriting on the recent album Unlimited Love will not do without it. In general, on April 1, fans of the band will have a big reunion and, judging by a separate composition Black Summer, a minimum of surprises: the musicians seem to be serious about reviving their classical compositions, rather than looking for new opportunities in the modern music world. And if long-time fans will be happy with this fact, then it seems worth working on RHCP clips – the video for their Black Summer looks like an alien from the old MTV, but who knows, maybe that’s what the bet was made.
Khruangbin & Leon Bridges – Chocolate Hills
American soul singer and trio Khruangbin presented the second joint EP Texas Moon, which followed the joint work of 2020 Texas Sun. Under its nocturnal title, the new release was more sensual and slower than its sunny and relaxed predecessor, and Bridges’ vocals once again managed to skillfully adapt to the band’s music – and did so well that listeners asked to make the musician a full member of Khruangbin. his fourth instrument of the collective. Their wishes are unlikely to come true (yet the artist is quite comfortable in solo work), but psychedelic and reminiscent of old cartoons clip Chocolate Hills, along with a song referring to soul veterans like Marvin Gaye, clearly reflects all the unquenchable chemistry between Bridges and Khrubin.
Yves Tumor – Secrecy Is Incredibly Important to the Both of Them
Sean Bowie, aka Yves Tumor, continues to come up with new images, and now instead of the artistic glam rocker of the 70’s we have a man who betrays something from the old post-punk. Let’s not forget that before that Bowie had a lot of transformations, including experimental electronics and even something very close to pop, and now on a single from his latest and released on the label Warp EP The Asymptotical World, he reaffirms his title of one of the most frantic and really interesting experimenters. At the same time, Yves Tumor, of course, does not forget that in recent years his music has gone hand in hand with visual self-expression – and thanks to this extremely attentive attitude to the form of Secrecy Is Incredibly Important to the Both of Them looks not just like a clip with disguises (although they are here, where Bowie is without them), but as an alarming and kitschy thriller.
Lipelis x TMO – Diet 505
When Russian artists start creating electronic music, they often produce abstract experimental sketches or cold techno, while slightly more carefree discos and houses often go unnoticed. Fortunately, the well-known DJ Leonid Lipelis does not ignore these genres and for more than a year he has been giving the Russian audience lively sets at events of various calibers. In February, the musician also released a joint EP with TMO, which, however, not only goes in the direction of primitive dance rhythms, but while maintaining energy, can also show multidimensionality. This means that listening to the release is not limited to 1-2 runs, and the inclusion of Function As A Meaning in the repeat mode opens more and more horizons. At the same time, there are also simple dance blockbusters on the record – Diet 505 turned out just like that. You can judge what kind of dance fever this track is driving by the video in which half of Moscow dances: from the head of the Sysytem108 promo team Evgeny Mashkov to singer Mirele and from DJ Raumtester to producer Kito Jempere.
“Thank you” – “Wolf”
The Moscow indie band “Thank You” has released a shrill and tenacious video “Wolf”, dedicated to intimacy and loneliness, peace and fear, love and standing on the opposite side of this feeling of death. The apocalyptic manner of the track is quite in line with the February mood, and the video shot by director Tair Polad-zade, although it shows tenderness and warmth, further raises the level of anxiety from the composition. In the frame, people kiss for the last time, and in the background is the voice of vocalist Russell Rahman: “I’m terribly afraid of death to the point of absurdity / I’m afraid to go to bed / We need to make sure everyone is alive / And I’m waiting for morning.” Everything heard and seen in “The Wolf” evokes longing – but this is not a word associated with boredom, but something burning inside and disarming.
Moderate – FAST LAND
Another oppressive and at the same time charming novelty of February is this time by Moderat. There has been no news from Sasha Ring of Apparat and Modeselektor members Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Sari since 2017, and the project is at its peak: just before their timeout, the musicians gave a concert in their native Berlin for 17,000 people and announced break. It seems impossible to present a performance of this scale now, but Moderat still promises a tour and announces an album of 10 tracks MORE D4TA, which, according to the artists, will be aimed at overcoming the feeling of isolation. So far, the result is the opposite: the heavy single FAST LAND, both in terms of sound and picture, clearly does not help to fight the feeling of loneliness, but as if pushing to this very isolation and thoughtful, not always easy listening.
Foals – 2am
Unlike many once-popular indie rock bands, Foals still stays afloat and regularly appears with news of new releases and music videos. In February, the musicians released a music video for 2am – a rather typical Foals catchy pop banger, which can be compared, for example, with Mountain at My Gates or Birch Tree. Famous Ukrainian director Tanya Muinho was responsible for the video, shot in Kyiv, which reflected the idea of repeating destructive behavior in the form of a colorful labyrinth without beginning and end.
Alabaster DePlume – Don’t Forget You’re Precious
The songs of the British saxophonist Alabaster Deplum in their therapeutic power may well compete with the aforementioned Metronomy – however, if the band’s healing occurs through a joyous holiday, Deplum’s music is more restrained, graceful and orderly. The latter feature is especially surprising given the artist’s musical approach: he recorded his latest album in London for two weeks, inviting different musicians to sessions every day and giving them almost no time for rehearsals. “This method is part of the mission. It wasn’t like school. We had chaos, we had fun. It’s a story and a process – and I want to live that way, “Deplum said of the record.
The result of these almost impromptu meetings with other musicians was named Gold, and this album will be released on April 1. In the meantime, you can listen to the good song Don’t Forget You’re Precious with muted vocals and a slightly frightening video series in the style of “Jojo Rabbit”: toy guns, fake shootings and real children.