Latvian Music News

January

17

Jan

Elizabete Balcus and Makree will present Latvia at “Eurosonic Noorderslag 2008”.

The annual music festival and showcase “Eurosonic Noorderslag” will take place from the 17th till the 20th of January in Groningen, The Netherlands, and two Latvian artists – Elizabete Balcus and Makree are going to present Latvia this year.

“Eurosonic Noorderslag” is the biggest showcase in Europe, gathering approximately 300 bands and musicians, 4000 industry professionals and more than 40 000 listeners overall each year.

Elizabete Balcus is a musician and performance artist who creates neo-psychedelic dream pop that is simultaneously melodic and experimental. Her extraordinary records and visually impressive live performances have put Balcus in the spotlight, and her act in Groningen will be a stop in-between a two-week tour in Luxembourg, France, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Serbia and Romania.

Makree is an electronic music producer and DJ, he appeared on the music scene in 2014 with his track Clouds, released with Swedish record label Metron Music. His music has been acclaimed by labels, radio stations and colleagues across Europe and a little while ago he produced a track together with chart topping artist Secondcity. Their track is set to be released next year with Sony’ sub-labels; the legendary Ministry of Sound and Danny Howard’s label Nothing Else Matters.

10 delegates from several Latvian music companies will also participate in the “Eurosonic” conference this year. On 19th of January "Music Export Latvia" together with colleagues from Hungary, Slovakia, Austria the representatives of Latvia will host an event called ““Ceentral Party” Oost Dance and  Noghtclub”, where Balcus is set to perform.

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15

Jan

Katrine Lukins releases a video for her Supernova song "Running Red Lights".

Katrine Lukins, a participant of this year's LTV Supernova contest, has released a video for her song "Running Red Lights". According to the singer, this video best reveals the message of her song. The video is full of breath-taking events: a car theft, weed smoking, drunk driving and even crazy car destruction.

“The story of the video has its roots in my own experience, my relationships, only told through other events, using other, slightly more dramatic actions. I know that I would never go so far in my real life. I want to share the story of my life to encourage others who might be stuck in a similar situation to get it settled and become free. In my case, these were relationships with my boyfriend. On the one hand, it seemed as if everything was fine, but my senses told me that I was going against myself - running red lights. We all know that we should not cross the red light on the street, and still we do it  sometimes,” Katrine comments on her video.

Kaspars Dumburs, a star of the TV3 series “Svešā seja” (The Foreign Face) and actor of the Latvian National Theatre, takes part in the clip. “It was very easy to work with Katrine; although she is not a professional actress, she knows exactly what she wants and is very confident and flexible,” says the actor.

The song video was shot shortly before Christmas, and it took two long days. The operator, director and scriptwriter of the video - Edgars Trankalis.

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December

21

Dec

What Does Trump, Kim Jong-un and Ryga Have in Common This Christmastime?

The answer is very simple: they all appear in the same video that Ryga has deliberately released right before Christmas to remind us what this holiday is all about. No, it is not about shopping, which has taken the world by storm.

This year, Ryga released its debut album Catch Her Groove, which is also available in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, where the band held several concerts at the end of autumn. After these concerts, the band received offers to return for more performances elsewhere. Some German portals have published positive reviews.

After the tour in Germany, the band’s front man Mārcis Judzis travelled to Vietnam, where he experienced all kinds of wonders. It included filming the video for “Black Friday”, which features some political material.

“Black Friday” was co-written by Kaspars Bindemanis, whose voice can be heard on the record.

Catch Her Groove is available on the MicRec website, can be downloaded from iTunes and streamed on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc.

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19

Dec

The Winners of Episode 7 of YouTube's International Music Show "Best.Cover.Ever." Are Contestants From Latvia, "Double Faced Eels"; the Band Releases a New Single "Can’t Let Go"

In November 2017, a new music show titled "Best.Cover.Ever." premiered on the video streaming website YouTube. Contestants from all around the world compete on the show for the opportunity to share the stage with international music industry stars.

The show is hosted by the Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist Ludacris who is joined by a different music industry star on each episode (such as Demi Lovato, Katy Perry, Jason Derulo, Charlie Puth, Bebe Rexha). In each episode of the show, two participants compete for the opportunity to perform live with the guest star. Each contestant performs a cover version of a popular song by the guest star, which is then judged. After the star and Ludacris proclaim the winner, the said winner is given a unique opportunity to collaborate with the star of that episode and perform a unique cover of a song with that artist.

Thousands of contestants from all over the world applied for each episode of the show, and among the lucky ones, who were invited to participate in the LA-filmed show, was the band "Double Faced Eels", who not only represented Latvia, but who were also the only finalists from Europe. On the show, "Double Faced Eels" competed with the talented group "Two Less Lonely" for the opportunity to perform a cover version of Bebe Rexha's song "In the Name of Love". The Latvian band managed to win the sympathies of Bebe Rexha and Ludacris and the opportunity to perform together with Bebe Rexha.

At the end of the show, the winners were presented a special prize from the producers of the show and Bebe Rexha — a repeated paid trip to Los Angeles to perform at a special private showcase at the legendary "Roxy Theatre" club and present themselves to producers and representatives of the local music industry. "Double Faced Eels" will possibly be the first Latvian band to perform at the iconic venue in Los Angeles, which has seen the performances of Bebe Rexha, Ludacris and such legendary musicians and bands as Bob Marley, "The Ramones", Peter Gabriel, "Guns N’ Roses" and others.

Bebe Rexha is an American singer and songwriter of Albanian origin, who obtained wider renown with her songs "Me, Myself and I" with the hip-hop artist G-Eazy, David Guetta's "Hey Mama" and Martin Garrix's "In the Name of Love".

Final duet with Bebe Rexha (complete, the material included in the episode is abridged)

The premise of "Best.Cover.Ever." is unique — the show is presented without any additional charges or limitations world-wide.

Inspired by the lessons learned during the show and using the momentum provided by its release, "Double Faced Eels" also present a new single and a video for their new song "Can’t Let Go".

"The song "Can’t Let Go" deals with the thoughts of a person being stuck in a bad relationship. Regardless of your gender, age or even the type of relationship — whether it is your relationship with a lover, an employer or a teacher etc. Sometimes we understand that the relationship is going nowhere, but we are unable to take a decisive step," tells the author of the lyrics to the song, Reinis Straume.

Music: "Double Faced Eels"

Mixing, mastering: Martins Gailitis (Mārtiņš Gailītis) (Marka), DFE Studio, markadfe@gmail.com

Production: Martins Gailitis (Marka) (executive producer), Reinis Straume, "Double Faced Eels"

Video: Reinis Janulis

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14

Dec

Australian-Latvian Band Shades Present New Single

Australian-Latvian band Shades present the first single and video “Together (No More)” from their upcoming EP that will be released in Spring of 2018.

The story of Shades goes back to 2015 when the drummer and producer Janis Eglitis met singer and composer Chris O’Neill in Melbourne, Australia. Chris has written music for many international projects, including well-known video games like “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain” and “Final Fantasy XV” and the BBC’s very first virtual reality documentary “Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel”. Together they wrote several songs with the idea of future collaboration and they called the project Shades as a reference to Australia’s hot sun. Almost by accident one of their songs won a newcomers’ radio show competition on Latvia’s “Radio SWH”, bringing the band radio rotation.

Having been set aside to work on other music and life projects, this autumn Shades has reborn into a fully-fledged band. This time, from two opposite sides of the world. Chris and Janis, who is now living in Latvia, were joined by bass player Martins Leja, also known as a member of Latvian rock band “Indygo”, and guitarist Janis Lide. The band plays indie pop-rock and is currently working on their debut EP. In 2018 Shades will be playing concerts in the Baltics and beyond.

Meanwhile their ballad “Together (No More)” has now reached radios and streaming services. “The song is about the power games, lust and suspicion in a broken relationship”, says Chris who is in charge of the lyrics. The song was written in various home studios and pulled together in the cloud, with the final version mixed by Janis at his studio “Ierakstu Maja”.

The single’s video features renowned Latvian contemporary dance choreographer Liene Grava and was filmed with support from “Kultfilma” and “Colortime”. It is available on YouTube and Vimeo.

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November

26

Nov

Latvian shoegaze pioneers "Tribes of the City" releases single and announces album

After an almost a decade-long break we are excited and proud to release our new single "Rust and Gold" from the album with the same name coming up in September 2018. It is going to be our fourth studio record following the double "Recipe of the Golden Dream" (2008). A live release show is going to be announced soon.

After several kids born, books read, beards grown and hair cut, we have finally reunited and are currently actively working in the studio, awake and inspired as ever.

We are lucky to have the great producer Adam Cooper working with us on this album. Adam has worked on one of our favorite and most influential shoegaze records of all time - Crash by Astrobrite (2001), he is also the founder of Alison’s Halo.

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21

Nov

Justs announces his new single “Are you there” and presents an eccentric video.

Latvian musician Justs has released a new single from his upcoming album, which is going to be available in Spring. New song “Are you there” is a work of musician and one of most promising new music producers in Latvia DJ Makree. Music video was developed by Ritvars Bluka.

“New single opens a question, which might seem easy to answer, but makes you really think, what makes you alive. I think that it is a question you can ask yourself every day. It is important to understand, what is your story and what is your path. You do not have to be afraid of it,” Justs explains message behind the lyrics.

With the song artist announces his debut album. “This albums content will slightly differ from what you have heard before. A lot of things have changed since the Eurovsion, impressions have turned into experiences, emotions have turned into skills. I want this album to represent more of my character.”

Music video perfectly represents the essence of the songs message and was captured by videographer Ritvars Bluka. Justs claims: “With this video my team and I wanted to show that every story is unique, and so is our characters. Sometimes it is hard to embrace who you are, but you have to be strong and resist the oppression.”

First song is a shout out to fans abroad, who were waiting patiently for the new material to appear.

Justs Sirmais is a Latvian artist, singer and songwriter, who also was a Eurovision 2016 finalist. Now teamed up with perspective producer DJ Makree, he is exploring his capabilities through Pop, House and EDM genres.

Song “Are you there” is available on Soundcloud,  Spotify and Deezer. You can download song on iTunes.

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21

Nov

Aleponija will host the opening performance from the program ''Sieviete Te''.

On November 23 the opening event from the program ''Sieviete Te'', dedicated to gender equality, will take place at Aleponija –Birznieka Upīša iela 22. Musicians Elizabete Balčus and Evija Vebere will make an special anniversary performance for the opening night. The program, that aims to identify and highlight the role of women in performing arts, will continue to be organized monthly.

''Sieviete te'' is planned as a cycle of alternative music and art events with the purpose of emphasizing the role of women in music. The line up for November 23 is composed by independent music performers who, in their creative search, are not afraid to challenge gender roles with a deep personal vision and strong stage presence.

ELIZABETE BALČUS creates a neo-psychedelic dream pop collage that is melodic and experimental at the same time. In her theatrical-musical cosmos, everything is allowed: transcendental vocals, free flute improvisations, electro pop beats, chamber music elements and glitch-style loop effects. Real fruits and vegetables are used as synthesizers. Elizabete's performance is just as stunning as it is captivating.

EVIJA VĒBERE is a soundscape artist that is now enthusiastic about electronics. In her performance, she uses both synthesizers and acoustic instruments to create a sound forest ambient, which is transmitted by the original and evocative voice of Evija. The different sound atmospheres range from playful easy going dance to schizophrenic existential cantatas. Studying in Holland, Evija and the Serbian drummer Lav Kovač created the avant-pop duo Howling Owl. The band toured Europe for about two years and released the EP  "Dance for Common Sense" (2015).

Original idea for ''Sieviete Te'' comes from Maria Llanderas, co-owner and program manager of Aleponija, because she thinks it haven't been enough discussion about the role of women on stage. The realization and implementation of the idea involved the concert agency MOO manager Lena Sme, marketing specialist Una Rozembauma and artist Marija Luīze Meļķe.

Offering high quality music performances based on an all-female lineup and creative team will help to break  stereotypes about gender roles in the performing arts environment. The program aims to create a platform where young women professionals  meet to build new contacts, share experiences, encourage each other and co-operate.

Event organizers believe that it is necessary to critically evaluate the experience of women working in the arts field in order to highlight the challenges and difficulties they are facing and to encourage dialogue to improve the situation, making it possible for all women involved to engage in their profession.

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October

17

Oct

Singer Múr is releasing her second single from upcoming debut album “Under allure”

At the end of this summer Madara (Múr) introduced everyone with a nostalgic preview of the album - first single “Confirmations”, but today Múr is releasing a song with a completely different vibe - “One weak breath away”.

Both songs let listeners understand that the upcoming album “Under allure”, which is coming out soon, is filled with different sounds and emotions. 

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5

Oct

"RIGaLIVE" session #1 aftermovie

Two-day project "RIGaLIVE" is songwriting camp, educational workshops and lectures for music industry.

Music: Kaspars Ansons "Happy Poet Singing".

Video: Rolands Rekke

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