A youthful carnival of sound
Meg Berridge
10:43 11th June 2020

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Those in the know are aware of the expanding Russian music scene. Lately, a plethora of indie bands have been worming their way onto Spotify playlists and capturing the attention of unsuspecting listeners. You may be familiar with the intense thrumming of Molchat Doma, darkness of Motorama or the infantile shouts and fat beats of IC3PEAK, but Kate NV...

Experimental, Moscow-based Kate NV is upping the ante in the Eastern European talent show with her latest album Room For The Moon.

The record defies convention, being an expressionist and multilingual host to the various voices spoken in Russian, French and English as well as the wordless medium of female-identifying music: “I always let music express herself without pressure, and with or without voice.”

Organic and free-flowing, Room For The Moon has an untamed elemental quality in its unpredictability and openness — you never quite know what to expect from the next track. 

The album begins with a flurry of repetitive riffs and melodic giggles with opener ‘Not Not Not’. The lyrics circulate like an echo dispersing from the peak of a mountain meanwhile the nasally hum of a saxophone carries the track making it explosive, separating it from its Steve Reich qualities. 

During the second number, ‘Du Na’, the music does the talking and what can only be described as magic occurs. The song has teleportation abilities. Marimba tinkers above a jungle-like beat, mimicking the exotic sounds of a rainforest or other strange land. Accompanied by the discordant, chromatic cries of the saxophone (again) this instrumental piece teeters on serialism.

As Room For The Moon progresses, it takes a theatrical turn with the increase of vocal parts and the incoming of ‘Ça Commence Par’. Said track is a mess, yet is somehow ridiculously catchy with its samba rhythms and chirpy melodies. Snapping into place with the French chorus, the track becomes increasingly international and frankly, is the ultimate dance tune. 

From there onwards, the album falls into mellifluous minimalism — still boasting repetitive hooks but with the addition of fully developed lyrical accompaniment. ‘Tea’ is a starry vortex and ‘Lu Na’ is similarly buoyant with softly spoken vocals and sweet hooks. Generous helpings of bass are introduced in ‘Plans’, another vocal-heavy track, and closing track, ‘Telefon’ wouldn’t have gone amiss in the 80s with Kate NV’s  Cyndi Lauper-esque voice, gleeful energy and random bursts of noise. 

Room For The Moon is an exuberant and youthful carnival of sound, one not to be missed. 

Room For The Moon is released on 12 June 2020 via RVNG Intl. 

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