Latvian Music News




Producer MT$ releases debut album “HOMEMADE”

Latvian producer MT$ releases his debut album “HOMEMADE”, containing nine electronic and lo-fi hip-hop tracks.

The musician, who announced himself this October with the single "Venera", has just released a full-length album called "HOMEMADE". It includes nine atmospherically rhythmic compositions, most of which are instrumental - the musician has combined various samples and supplemented them with guitar, bass and synthesizers, creating a unique mix of "live" and "artificial" sounds.

MT$ describes his album as follows: “Ever since I have gotten into recording, I've tried to understand different styles of music, and it has been difficult for me to fit into only one genre. While working on this record, I tried to turn this trait into a trump card. On this album, I've used samples in tandem with "live" instruments, and I think that the result is, in my opinion, some pretty interesting and unique music."

The album "HOMEMADE" in a very unusual physical format - in the form of hot sauces. Three different flavors of sauce with a unique album download code are available in limited quantities - they can be purchased in the musician's Bandcamp profile.

"Because the album was made entirely in my home, it seemed that the idea of homemade hot sauce was well-suited to the whole concept of the album itself. For me, my debut album is an exceptional event, and I wanted to pass it on to my listeners in a way to make them feel special as well. After all, what could be even more special than something you’ve created with your hands, ” says MT.


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The Bad Tones coming out with a live album from the middle of a lake

“In the middle of the August darkness at approximately 3AM you take your boat and row out into the mist that's hanging on top of the lake. You don't know where to go, but you can hear a faint sound somewhere in the distance. You row closer and closer to the strange sounds. Like in a dream a floating stage appears somewhere in the middle of the lake. The wind is chilly so you lay down in your boat. The stars up above are slowly fading with the first rays of the Sun as you drift away in a light sleep somewhere between dreaming and being awoken…” The Bad Tones

Ezera skaņas” is The Bad Tones second full-length album. It was recorded on lake Kāla (Kāla ezers) as a part of the festival "Sounds from the Lake" ("Ezera Skaņas"). In collaboration with the Finnish saxophonist Ukko Heinonen and the Latvian percussionist Dzintars Viksna (Dzintars Vīksna), during a 1 week long creative camp The Bad Tones have written a 1.5-hour dedication to the festival, which consists of 8 fragments included in the album. The main theme "I'm Not Afraid of The Wolf" reflects the growth of a child, where "Wolf" is an inner adult, but "I" is an inner child. It's this transformation battle that takes place in the early teens and thus the musical material is split between these themes of security and vulnerability, where you don't feel yet an adult and can't act like a child anymore.

The Bad Tones is a nature-inspired quartet from Latvia, which represents various genres and a fusion of them. The band is formed by Edvards Broders (guitar, keys, vocals), Alberts Levics (bass guitar, vocals), Rudolfs Ozols (guitar, keys, backing vocals) and Kalvis Slezis (drums, backing vocals).


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Latvian synth-rock band Dani Ryan released its third single and music video

On November 16, 2020 a synth-rock band Dani Ryan from Riga released a new single called „Komett”. This single is the third release from the band’s upcoming album „PARTY !”, which will be out very soon - just a week after the single.

The song was released along with the music video, which was filmed and edited independently by the participants of the Dani Ryan project. It took three days to shoot the video - a team of 7 people was involved in the filming process. However all further processing of the filmed material and its editing was done by Dani Ryan’s lead singer -  Daniil Ravinsky. Daniil was also responsible for creating all the visual effects and animation in this and previous music videos of the band.  According to various calculations, the budget of the music video ranged from 20 to 35 euros, including food and drinks for the film crew and paying for taxis to deliver all the necessary equipment to the filming locations.

The plot of the video refers the viewer to the first single and music video of the band - RADIO ANNA. The song and the video tell us about the story of the main character Anna and her journey into outer space. Both the song „Komett” and the music video for it will tell us about what happened in Anna's life before her travels and about the sacrifice she had to make to make her dream come true -  become an astronaut.

„Komett” focuses on the difficult choice between a dream and a happy, but ordinary life, the emotions of two people and, of course, love.

The lyrics to the song's rap verse were written by Dani Ryan’s bass player Nikita Andrejevs, who also played the main character in the band's new music video. An interesting fact is that at the time of writing the verse, Nikita had no idea what the song will be about and what kind of music it will have. All that was at his disposal - the rhythm and general theme of the future song , space precisely. This was done on purpose so that the already written lyrics and music would not be reflected in the lyrics of this rap verse.

The entire music video creation process took about two weeks - the same as it takes to review and approve a song for release on streaming platforms such as Spotify or Apple Music. The goal was to release a high-quality and interesting music video along with the release of the single. That is why the members of the Dani Ryan project invested in the creation of the video not only the maximum amount of their energy, sacrificing free time and rest after their day jobs, but also a piece of their soul.

The Dani Ryan team would like to express special gratitude for the magical mastering of the track to sound engineer Kaspars Greizis and the band Barta  for providing the filming location.

Dani Ryan was founded in 2015. In 2019, the band began its main activity, prior to this Dani Ryan changed members several times. At the end of last year Dani Ryan released its debut album OPEN.

The band core consists of three permanent members  - Daniil Ravinsky (composer, keyboardist, guitarist, lead singer, creator of visual effects and posters), Janis Zarins (drummer) and Nikita Andrejevs (bass-player and backing vocalist). The release of Dani Ryan's second album is scheduled for late 2020.

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New single Lighthouse from Austria based Latvian artist BAIBA

BAIBA (Baiba Dēķena) releases new single Lighthouse from upcoming album Lighter.

Lighthouse is the new single from BAIBAs upcoming album  Lighter. The song tells the story of an unreturned love and the journey to recognize that, no matter how strong we may love someone.

“So maybe we should try to move forward and head towards the light, following the lighthouse, to find the most important thing of all - how important it is to love yourself at first!” says BAIBA.

BAIBA is a young Latvian musician, currently living in Innsbruck, Austria. In 2017 in collaboration with the Austrian producer Christoph Holzknecht (CHRS) she released her debut album These Storms. Since then BAIBA is performing solo, producing herself and moving away from the melancholic singer songwriter corner and embracing more and more the curiosity of electronic pop music.

Her singles Running, Light Inside, Touch You Right and You Don’t Know Me which she released under her full name (Baiba Dekena), had radio airplay all around Europe and were also featured in numerous Canadian and American music blogs. Her singles You Don’t Know Me and Light Inside brought BAIBA great recognition in her home country and were included in daily rotation by several biggest radio stations. Light Inside earned her the title Artist of the week in the national Radio 5.

In mid November she entered the „Official European Independent Music Charts“ on number 19 with the title track of her upcoming album Lighter.

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On 6th November, Latvian recording artist Chris Noah releases a deluxe version of the EP “Distance” which came out on the 20th March. Alongside the original songs from the EP, the deluxe version includes recently released single “This Is The Night”, its live acoustic version as well as a stripped-down version of a fan favourite River.

““This Is The Night” was recorded after the release of EP “Distance” and even during the writing process, I felt that it would fit very well with the other songs in the EP. It’s not only strong as a single, but it also serves as a great addition to EP “Distance” and gives the necessary contrast between the songs,” says Chris.

“This Is The Night” was released on 23rd October and came out with a music video.

Regarding the inclusion of the acoustic tracks in the EP, Chris comments: “I write most of my songs on my acoustic guitar and only during the production process, by adding various instruments and other bits and bobs, the characteristics of the recording are shaped. It’s great to have big production and it’s always fun to do that, but sometimes it’s worth returning to the basics which for me is my voice and guitar. Doing a live recording is always special as there’s room for natural noises and you also seem more vulnerable as a musician since there’s less editing. I think it might reveal a new side of me to people who follow my music. The stripped-down version of “River”, which is included in the EP, has become a fan favourite at gigs where I don’t play with a full band, and this version gives a rawer feeling to the story behind the song.”

Listen to the EP “Distance Deluxe” here.

On 6th December, despite the ongoing situation in the world, Chris Noah is playing two shows in one of the most beautiful cinemas in Latvia – Splendid Palace. Chris will be showcasing his talent to his rapidly growing fanbase in his homeland, whilst taking all the necessary precautions to stay safe.

Find tickets to the shows here.

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Latvian Composer Aija Alsiņa Releases New Single and Video

Latvian composer Aija Alsiņa who has been working in film music for several years now, is releasing a new single titled “Abyss”. The composition, along with a video made by the French director Paul Lavau, is published on November 6th, and is available on all major music streaming platforms.

Aija Alsiņa's debut album ”Domum”, released in 2017, was critically acclaimed by both Latvian and foreign reviews. Her delicate piano compositions are emotionally charged and writing music is a way in which Aija expresses her feelings. After completing an MSc in Composition for Film and Media in the UK, it has now been a year since Aija returned back to her home country of Latvia and is currently residing and working in her native Riga.

The essence of “Abyss” is the nostalgia for one's childhood - manifested in moments of fond memories, deeply immersive and at the same time blurred, and intertwined with a thread of sadness over a time gone by; just another reminder of the transient nature of our lives. “Children are a significant part of my life, and this inevitably influences my music” , Aija comments on her creative process. “When writing Abyss, I played around with chord progressions and sounds, and while listening to a fragment of the written piece I imagined waves and the plain vastness of the sea. A moment came to my mind when, in the beginning of the pandemic, I was staying at home with my kids a lot, and my five year old loved to make up fairytales, so I had a couple of them recorded on my phone. When thinking about the sea and the water, I decided to use a fragment of his story in my composition, turning the child's voice into an additional instrument.” “Abyss” was mixed and mastered by Aija in her home studio.

Aija's collaboration with the French director Paul Lavau started earlier this year when she was invited to write the soundtrack for his documentary “202”. In the video for “Abyss” Paul portrayed his own take on the memory and the feeling of nostalgia, crafting the film to the finalized music composition.

Listen to the “Abyss” here.

“Abyss” was created with the financial support of AKKA/LAA.

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"The Bad Tones announces release date for live album "Ezera Skaņas""

"The Bad Tones is coming out with an announcement for a new live album "Ezera Skaņas, which will be available on the platforms starting from November 21. Album was recorded on Kala lake (Kāla ezers) as a part of the festival "Sounds from the Lake" ("Ezera Skaņas").

In collaboration with the Finnish saxophonist Ukko Heinonen and the Latvian percussionist Dzintars Viksna (Dzintars Vīksna), The Bad Tones have written a 1.5-hour dedication to the festival, which consists of 8 fragments included in the album. The main theme "I'm Not Afraid of The Wolf" reflects the growth of a child, where "Wolf" is an inner adult, but "I" is an inner child."

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Exclusive Outfits and True Chemistry in New Video by Markus Riva and Samanta Tīna

As October drew to a close, the first duet of Markus Riva and Samanta Tīna, called “Man nesanāk” (I Can’t Succeed), saw the light of day. It has quickly become a favourite among audiences and caused great interest in the pair beyond their homeland Latvia. The music video for “Man nesanāk” is out now to complement the track.

The initiative and the idea of the story belong to Markus, while the visual identity of the music video was entrusted to director Pavel Trebuhin with whom Markus has worked for many years. Samanta’s favourite makeup artist Jana Kozlova did the makeup of both stars, and the music video was shot at E. Fon Trompowsky Quarter.

Several exclusive “Fyodor Golan” outfits are featured in the video – the brand, characterized by brave designs and bold colours, was created by Latvian-born designer Fyodor Podgorny, and it’s adored by such celebrities as Lady Gaga, Madonna, Rita Ora, Blackpink and others.

 “It’s easy to work with Samanta – I’m very happy she had trust in my ideas and felt confident appearing in the video in a different mode than usual,” says Markus. “Being in a frame with her feels ecstatic – cameras love Samanta, and every second of the video is electrified with her charm and energy.”

“I like to be in charge, so at first it was difficult for me to go with Markus’ ideas and trust his choice of stylists and video crew, but I did it, and I am extremely happy with the result. The stylists did a fantastic job, and the outfits we wore were fabulous; I got to know new designers that I will keep working with. The team was very professional, and I am very satisfied with this cooperation and what we have achieved,” adds Samanta.

As reported earlier, “Man nesanāk” is the third single from Markus’ upcoming studio album in Latvian, set for release this autumn. The production of “Man nesanāk” was supported by the grant of the Latvian Performers’ and Producers’ Association (LaIPA).

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This autumn – an unexpected revival of Raimonds Pauls' song "Autumn Leaves"

Singer Katrīna Gupalo has created a new sound for Raimonds Pauls' song "Autumn Leaves". Her performance also emphasizes the dramatic message of Jānis Peters' text.

"This autumn is very different from others - this year we especially feel the departure of the old world which we say goodbye to with sadness. We believe that after a harsh winter spring will come bringing new life with it.  It was through this song that I wanted to express what we all experience and feel every day during these terrible pandemic times,” says Katrīna Gupalo. “After a beautiful summer, in which I had many concerts dedicated to the music of Imants Kalniņš, I decided that autumn would come with the sounds of Raimonds Pauls. Autumn always sounds very special in Maestro's compositions. Two of his songs "Ance's Romance" and "Don't Come To Me In Autumn" have been in my repertoire for a long time and now I've added a third - "Autumn Leaves».

Intuition was the main drive during the making of the music video: “We got in cars and drove aimlessly hoping to find a suitable location for filming. In many places the leaves were still green and there was no evidence of the mood encoded in the song.  While driving on the windy roads that took us through the forests and meadows of Krimulda region, we suddenly came to a stop at a random country house. It was perfect for the song! The exceptionally beautiful and bright staghorn sumac together with the stone wall overgrown with vines created a perfect oasis for making a music video.  We met Rasma - the sincere and lovely owner of the house. She gave us her blessing and a music video was created in this special place. Thank you, Rasma!”

"Autumn Leaves" was recorded both in Latvian and Russian in "Wolk Recording Studios". Produced by Aleksandrs Volks and Oriole. Music video created by Kaspars Kambars. Costumes designed by "Public Makes Image”. Make-up artist – Anita Intaite.

Katrīna Gupalo's upcoming concerts: Culture Palace "Ziemeļblāzma" - October 30, Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga – November 20 and December 12, Concert Venue "Zeit" in Līgatne – November 28 and December 26. All concerts will be held in accordance with guidelines related to the spread of Covid-19.

Photo by Jānis Škapars

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On 28 October singer - songwriter MARTA releases her first full length studio album "Lietas, kas notiek manā galvā"

 "For me it's about being brave. I've been searching for answers and trying to be as honest to my listeners and to myself as possible".
The nine track album includes a cover of the band "bet bet" ("Pieklauvē")  and a duet with Intars Busulis - "Pasaule pagaidīs" as well as three previously released singles: "Drāma", "Atkal tu" and "Tu neesi viss". Two songs have been produced by the electronic music artist Kashuks ("Pieklauvē", "Supermeitene") and one by the musician Dmitrijs Tarasovs ("Pasaule pagaidīs"), but the overall album production, vocal recording, mixing and mastering has been done by the producer DJ Rudd.

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