Latvian Music News

August

8

Aug

Elizabete Balčus releases new track, IKA, out on August 17, via Wall of Sound

The new track, IKA  is inspired by Greek mythology, the story of Icarus, as  Elizabete  portrays a luminous perspective amongst an experiential electronic backdrop of ideas.  Elizabete is reminiscent in places of  Efterklang, Bjork or Aphex Twin.  Delicate  harmonies intertwine, as sounds merge with moments of pure industrial experimentation. Elizabete  seeks out the world of Icarus as she soars metaphorically reaching for the sun, demonstrating a courageous and experimental soul, as she cautiously searches for new worlds. The video has borne in collaboration with new media artist Zane Zelmene, exploring the intersection between technology and nature.
 
Elizabete  Balčus creates a musical cosmos, looping flute and voice, clicking electro pop beats, synthesizers and veg plot, taking you to a blissed-out state.  Live performances engage the audience with a psychedelic and theatrical performance, both bewildering and mesmerising demonstrating  Elizabete’s personal drive to create and to dream more.
 

A Latvian musician and performance artist  Elizabete  Balčus  creates neo-psychedelic dream pop from collaged, genre juxtapositions that are simultaneously melodic and experimental working with a strong visual aesthetic that draws upon modern surrealism, contemporary fashion and geometric imagery. Elizabete  attended The Latvian Academy of Music in order to study classical and jazz flute, plus opera vocal in Rome’s Santa Cecilia Academy. 
 
Having released her debut album  ‘Conarium’  under the UK label ‘Liminal Noise’, was nominated  for Latvian Music Recording Award  ‘Zelta Mikronfons’  2017 for best alternative / indie pop album of the year and was nominated for the Latvian ‘Mercury Prize’– ‘Austras Balva’, for best album of 2017. Elzabete has been busy of the last year performing at live festivals including: Eurosonic Noorderslag, Tallinn Music Week, WestWay LAB, Scenica Festival, The Great Escape, Reeperbahn Festival
 
Live Shows

11.08. Ionoteka, St.Petersburg

23.08. Autentika, Riga

30.08. Sebright Arms, London

31.08. Amersham Arms, London

02.08. Moscow Music Week

07.08. Royal Fish festival, Baden

15.08. TOLM festival Tallinn

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6

Aug

INTERNATIONAL POP-ACT MARKUS RIVA COLLABORATES WITH FAN ENGAGEMENT PLATFORM FANVESTORY WITH HIS NEW SINGLE

Latvian pop-act Markus Riva collaborates with the fan engagement platform Fanvestory to share his exclusive content, merchandise and a part of his future royalty earnings with his biggest fans and supporters.

Many artists are trying to find new ways to attract fans, but more importantly connect with them as streaming and digitalization has taken away one approach for artists to deeply engage with their biggest fans as they can just scroll through Spotify and find the next artist to listen to within 1 second. Exclusivity is disappearing and that is why Markus Riva has decided to take his fan engagement to the next level with Fanvestory.

“I have been attracted to music since the age of three. I am mostly inspired by my friends and the surrounding environment, but of course also by some heartbreaks and rough times I have gone through. I am lucky to be pursuing my dream in playing, performing and creating songs. There is nothing else I’d rather do and I would not be able to do it without my fanbase. I have decided to work with Fanvestory to show gratitude to my coolest fans and share part of my future earnings with them,” says the Latvian pop singer Markus Riva.

“We decided to work with Markus Riva, because there is no doubt he is a natural talent with big international fanbase and growth potential as he has fans from Russia, the Baltic States, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus and other countries. His creations includes many radio singles that have been #1 songs on the charts of iTunes and radio stations,” adds the CEO of Fanvestory Birgit Karus.

Markus Riva new single “Please don’t give up” , that is given out in collaboration with Fanvestory, was written in London but recorded in Riga with Kaspars Ansons - producer that stands behind previously released track “This Time”, also known as “Supernova 2018” entry.

“The idea of the song came into my mind when I was in London last year. I woke up in the morning in Shoreditch district, took a shower, and I had this melody in my mind that I fixed with the guitar that was in a hotel room. I love that kind of moments when you give a birth to a song in those unexpected moments”, says Markus.

You will hear a lot of “that kind of moments” in new music album by Markus Riva that is set to be released on 20th of September. It is going to be 5th album in Markus Riva’s career that consists of songs written and inspired by real life moments. The title of the new album is going to be "I CAN” because it symbolises the life of Markus Riva - “with this album I want to inspire people. The title song I wrote for my mother when she was struggling with cancer, unfortunately I lost her last year and it was a a hard time, but good to create and find myself again in music”.

You can be part of Markus Riva’s Fanvestory project and be part of “I CAN” album production.

Fanvestory is a fan-engagement technology platform, which allows music fans to support artists and receive exclusive content, merchandise and a small percentage of future royalties from their favourite artists in return. So far, Fanvestory has worked with popular artists like Tommy Cash, Justs and Tanel Padar and is now collaborating with Latvian pop singer and X factor host Markus Riva.

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July

23

Jul

Cinema returns to Summer Sound festival

This years' Summer Sound festival will offer a chance to watch local cinema to its attendees in just two weeks - 3rd and 4th of August.

The cinema tent has found its way back to Summer Sound festival. In it, during the whole of the festival, there will be screenings of classic and modern Latvian cinema pieces, as well as student films. The list of films includes Four white shirts, My friend - a quirky man, Thumbelin, Emīls' mischiefs, Because of that crazy Paulīne, Soloist needed, Return of Sgt Lapiņš, Butter, short films from students of Latvian Academy of Culture and others.

Speaking of films chosen for cinema tent of Summer Sound is curator of the tent Agnese Logina:” We know well that people are not attending the festival purely for the cinema, but we wish to broaden the spectrum of experience for the attendees. This year the cinema tent will give a chance to get to know different generations of Latvian cinema. For some this might mean watching the Latvian classics for the first time, for some it might be a revisiting of those, but the cinema tent is going to be a place for rejuvenation, good mood, laughter and new findings. The cinema tent is going to screen the classics and also more recent films, especially suited for families with kids, but all of the films are going to be life-affirming pieces motivating contemplation through laughter.”

This year the festival also invites you to attend warm-up concerts for the festival that are going to take place in Liepaja the whole week through - in Petermarket, at Liepaja University and Julianna's court in July 31st, August 1st and August 2nd. On the City stage 15 local musicians and DJs, including Liepaja inhabitants, will perform. The three stages will host The Coconuts, Mārtiņš Dambis & Co, NiklāvZ, Funky DJ Elegant, The Mary Jane and others. Entrance is free of charge.

The most recent news of Summer Sound festival and the City stage program can be checked out at the Summer Sound official app, downloaded within Google Play Store and Appstore.

Up until now these artists have been announced for this years’ Summer Sound festival - American rockband Goo Goo Dolls, the British rockband Coasts, German DJ Alle Farben, the local Musiqq, Aija Andrejeva, Labvēlīgais Tips, Dzelzs Vilks, Pienvedēja Piedzīvojumi, Rīgas Modes, Igo, Justs, Sudden Lights, Marta Ritova, Astra The 22’s, Rigga Reggae, Singapūras Satīns, rappers Ansis, Edavārdi and Fakts, DJs Toms Grēviņš and Makree, bands Čipsis un Dullais, Inokentijs Mārpls, Soundarcade, Židrūns, The Bongo Club, The Bad Tones, Múr, Buchares, PODRUGA, DJ Uldis Rudaks.

Lithuania-based musician Andis Grīva with his band - Andis Grīva is WWMM, Lithuanian Colours of Bubbles, Garbanotas Bosistas and Antikvariniai Kašpirovskio dantys.

In year 2018, Summer Sound will take place for the 8th time, and has undoubtedly become one of the most important music events of the Baltic summer. That is confirmed by the thousands of attendees that come each year to the wonderful beach of Liepāja to enjoy musical entertainment and relaxation by the seaside for two whole days. Each year, the festival offers more than 50 artists, as well as providing a menu of various entertaining activities.

Ticket prices for Summer Sound 2018:

2 day ticket - 27€

2 day ticket with tent spot - 44€

Tent city ticket - 7€

VIP ticket - 90€

VIP ticket + parking - 105€

Summer Sound is supported by Liepāja city, you are kindly invited by A/S Aldaris, and the festival is reccomended by the official radio of the festival - Radio SWH.

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June

14

Jun

Latvian music is taking over the top spots in Lithuania’s radios

Good news - Latvian music is taking over the top spots in Lithuania’s radios! In the 1st place this week is K. Ansons’, V.Sprudzs', K.Praulina's and Jurga’s song “Be Žodžių” on FM99 in Alytas, English version of this song is  “(My Heart Beats) Staccato”, which was co-written by Kaspars Ansons, Kristīne Prauliņa and Valters Sprūdžs, this is one of the songs which were created during the fall session of the songwriting workshop “RIGaLIVE”. 

As well as Brainstorm’s “Wonderful Day” on radio Laluna in Klaipeda.

Don’t forget to catch Carnival Youth live this week in Lithuania - today at Loftas in Vilnius, and tomorrow in Alytas city festival.

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12

Jun

“How Town” releases their fourth album

How Town is a Belgian-Latvian band led by bass player/composer Lennart Heyndels. Their music is not easily classified, jumping from the more experimental corner of improvisation to a spontaneity and flexibility clearly rooted in jazz, they bring well worked out compositions taking inspiration from a pop, folk and singer-songwriter tradition. Since its beginnings in 2012, the band has released three albums: How Town (2013), a suite based on the E.E. Cummings poem 'Anyone lived in a pretty how town', No marvel (that I mistake my view) (2014) and I dare you sea (2016).

“I want to watch a tree grow” (2018) is How Town's fourth album and definitely their most eclectic one. Consisting of compositions by all members of the band, the album has lyrics in four different languages (Russian, English, Latvian and French). Choral harmonies meet twisted bass grooves and sharp guitar sounds, before unnoticeably transforming into folk songs you might as well be whistling on your bike. Before you know it you find yourself in the middle of a compelling ballad with the rhythmic pulse of a ping pong ball and you may ask yourself: "How did I get here?". A question which will become more and more irrelevant as you join How Town in watching their tree grow.

How Town has performed all over Europe including The Netherlands, France, Germany, Slovenia, Austria, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Belgium. They played at major festivals like Jazz International Rotterdam, Match & Fuse London and Theater Aan Zee and at concert venues like Bimhuis, Porgy & Bess and Stadtgarten. The band has won several prizes among which the Keep An Eye 'The Records' award (2017) and the Jong Muziek prize at Theater Aan Zee (2014).

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12

Jun

Band “The Coco'nuts” releases new album “No Other Way Out”

Latvian blues rock, indie and alternative jazz band The Coco'nuts has released their second studio album No Other Way Out. Album is available for streaming on Spotify, ITunes, SoundCloud, Bandcamp and Google Play Music.

“No Other Way Out is about the journey of learning to find the beauty in everyday life. It's about the little things we might not notice in the daily routine. About the highs and lows of life that make it worth living. Because after all the bruises, laughs, tears, experiences, and failures, in the end there is indeed No Other Way Out. So we might as well enjoy it”.

The eight songs of the album have been recorded in a greenhouse located in the suburbs of Valmiera, in collaboration with Latvian Radio Big Band musicians trumpeter Oskars Ozoliņš, trombonist Laura Rozenberga, saxophonist Kristaps Lubovs and other musical talents such as Melo M cellist Miķelis Dobičins and percussionist Migel Hernandez Giraldi from Chile.  The visual artist of the album is Aigars Opincāns.

No Other Way Out album livestream concert for friends and family can be found in HD quality on The Coco'nuts Facebook page. The band also invites everybody to the big album presentation concert on the 14th of June, club ONE ONE. The tickets to the concert are available on www.residentadvisor.net/.

The Coco'nuts consists of eight creative and vibrant personalities: Marija Broča as leadvocal, Monta Kurme backvocal, Inese Bērziņa backvocal and piano, Pēteris Narubins vocal and guitar, Jāzeps Podnieks flute, Artūrs Strautmanis drums, Toms Valmiers contrabass and Reinis Puriņš trumpet.

The music created by the band varies with funk, indie, blues rock and alternative jazz elements. The Coco'nuts started their musical journey in 2012 and so far they have recorded an EP Appetizer in 2014 and a studio album Amid Opposites in 2016. The band has played in many local and foreign festivals and events, including Positivus, Riga Funk Fest and International Jazz Day, Riga Rhythm Festival and Tartu Indie Music Festival.

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6

Jun

Festival Summer Sound line-up is expanded by Gacho, Daddy Was A Milkman and others

This year’s Summer Sound festival’s line-up is now further expanded by rapper Gacho, this moment’s hottest artist from Lithuania Daddy Was a Milkman, as well as by Radio SWH Priekšnams stage.

In this year’s Summer Sound festival, you’ll be able to take part in one of the biggest shows this year for rapper Gacho. Attendants will also be entertained by a musician who has gained popularity in Latvia and Lithuania Daddy Was A Milkman, as well as bands Laika Suns and Polifauna, Belorussian band Super Besse and Liepājas Poprok skola (Liepāja’s pop-rock school).

This year the festival’s long time partner’s Radio SWH stage Priekšnams has transformed and become the second biggest beach stage, and will host previously announced Singapūras Satīns, Fakts, Edavārdi, Colours of Bubbles and Andis Grīva is WWMM. These artists will be joined by rapper Ozols with the band Tehnikums, as well as Priekšnams’ new bands ATOM, Patrisha, Aivo Oskis, Gandreiž 10-nīkā and Rock’n’berries.

Communications manager of Radio SWH Vladis Goldbergs comments on Priekšnams’ stage: “This year Radio SWH stage and Priekšnams have a new challenge - to showcase new bands, as well as popular and experienced musicians on their stage. For the new artists, to play at one of the biggest festivals in Latvia is a huge happening, especially, if it’s also the first time at a festival altogether. It is no doubt that everybody that sets foot on Priekšnams’s tage hopes that it is also going to be a great event for the listeners, as well, because in some years’ time the listeners might remember with pride being present at a now-popular bands’ first ever onstage performance. See you in Liepāja! See you at Summer Sound!”

Up until now these artists have been announced for this years’ Summer Sound festival - American rockband Goo Goo Dolls, the British rockband Coasts, German DJ Alle Farben, the local Musiqq, Aija Andrejeva, Labvēlīgais Tips, Dzelzs Vilks, Pienvedēja Piedzīvojumi, Rīgas Modes, Igo, Justs, Sudden Lights, Marta Ritova, Astra The 22’s, Rigga Reggae, Singapūras Satīns, rappers Ansis, Edavārdi and Fakts, DJs Toms Grēviņš and Makree, bands Čipsis un Dullais, Inokentijs Mārpls, Soundarcade, Židrūns, The Bongo Club, The Bad Tones, Múr, Buchares, PODRUGA, DJ Uldis Rudaks.

Lithuania-based musician Andis Grīva with his band - Andis Grīva is WWMM, Lithuanian Colours of Bubbles, Garbanotas Bosistas and Antikvariniai Kašpirovskio dantys.

Right now the special Liepājnieku biļetes tickets are on sale. These tickets allow the local city inhabitants and their guests to buy entrance tickets for a lower price in all of Biļešu Serviss ticket offices in Liepāja. Every ISIC card holder is also eligible for purchasing a ticket at a lowered fee.

In year 2018, Summer Sound will take place for the 8th time, and has undoubtedly become one of the most improtant music events of the Baltic summer. That is confirmed by the thousands of attendees that come each year to the wonderful beach of Liepāja to enjoy musical entertainment and relaxation by the seaside for two whole days. Each year, the festival offers more than 50 artists, as well as providing a menu of various entertaining activities.

 

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5

Jun

Franco Franco unveils first single from the new full-length album

“Wow, you are really looking quite fabulous” - conveys Franco Franco’s newest song and video “You Look So Good”, which is the first single from the upcoming full-length album.

Band leader Elizabete Vētra explains: “The aim of the song is to encourage people to be brave. It is about freedom of choice, daring to look in the mirror and believing that you’re awesome – with all your quirks and peculiarities. Even if you don’t fit into the stereotypes dictated by society.”

“At the end of the long road that we call life, we’re all equal regardless of our skin color, looks, or the people we love,” Vētra adds.

The new single is the forerunner of the band’s first full-length album, which is to be released at the end of the year. “Does this song characterize the sound of the album? Possibly. And yet we do not believe in boundaries. That’s why the new album will be quite eclectic — featuring sounds characteristic to different genres like pop, electronic music, even post-rock,” says Reinis Kārkliņš, guitarist and producer of the song.

Franco Franco’s previous single “Vadugunis”, written in their native Latvian and created together with rapper Ipstens Kūns and producer Arstarulsmirus, received positive reviews from the public and Latvian radio stations.

“Franco Franco” has performed in some of the most popular local festivals - “Summer Sound”, ”Positivus”, “Fono Cēsis” etc., as well as opened for Tom Odell and Jessie Ware. The band has recorded two EPs — “Color Me” (2013) and “Moon + Light” (2016), produced by Reinis Sējāns (“Instrumenti”) and named among the best alternative or indie-pop music albums in Latvia in 2016.

This summer “Franco Franco” will perform at “Playground Festival” (July 14), as well as other concerts throughout Latvia.

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4

Jun

“CanZone” inspired by H. C. Andersen’s fairy tale releases a retro-innovative video clip

A rockband from Latvia “CanZone” – after recently releasing their first LP “High Time” in CD format – offers now a video for one of the album’s songs “Kliedz bez skanas”. It’s a quite unusual and surprising visual material!

 A song video, that might be called also a short film, is fully handmade – in a technique apparently absent in nowadays music videos. This was accomplished thanks to two creative people from “machinaLID”. The music video is a filmed shadow play, insipred by Hans Christian Andersen’s immortal tale of the steadfast tin soldier, the fragile paper dancer and their ardent unspoken love. Andersen’s lesser-known passion for paper cutting is another source of inspiration.

“High Time” is a music album representing creative expressions from several passionate people, who dare to believe – it’s what the world needs to hear. Coming straight out from the underground rock scene, “CanZone” debut album contains ten original songs – half of them sung in band’s native language and the other half in world’s rockmusic language.

Rockband “CanZone” creates and performs music (fusion of rock, pop and folk) by focusing on the epic synthesis of electric guitar and accordion. Most of the songs were recorded, mixed and mastered in studio “Lauska” (in Riga, Latvia) under the supervision of sound engineer Kaspars Barbals. Though a couple of songs were recorded working with studio “GEM” and studio Reinis Brigis.

In the coming months “CanZone” will perform in Riga (on 12th July club “Republika”) and in Liepaja (on 13th July club “Fontaine” and on 4th August in festival “Summer Sound”). The album “High Time” is available in band’s concerts and in music stores in Latvia, but in digital format: https://canzone.bandcamp.com/

You can listen to “High Time” also in other music streaming sites.

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4

Jun

"Very Cool People" will offer a new video each month!

“Very Cool People” is an instrumental jazz-funk band originated in Riga, Latvia. With a backbone in jazz and funk, incorporating influences from rock and hip-hop, “Very Cool People” is creating modern and listenable music for a wide audience. While using contemporary tools, the band is trying to bring jazz & funk back to the dance floor and make it more accessible to ordinary, nowadays people. “Very Cool People” is an active-gigging band in which all the members love & enjoy performing live shows more than anything.

"Very Cool People" starting from June, each month, will release a new live video with tunes from band's latest album "Heya Some Kind Of Fish ..." - Camel's Desert Party, Cats Do not Speak, Squash Express and Conde De Pimientos.

The video was created in cooperation with director Valdis Krumins and one of the hip Riga venue "One One". “These videos have captured the essence of the album" emphasizes VCP's leader and guitarist Elvijs Grafcovs. “These are our favourite four tunes from the album & they perfectly represents spirit of the album.”

“Heya Some Kind of Fish! We Don’t Know The Name Of This Fish In English, But In Latvian It Is Vimbas” released in 2017 is VCP's fourth album so far represents pieces of a symbiosis between the different allied music styles - funk, soul, jazz, klezmer, Balkan & Latvian folk music. In 2015 they released their third album “Funkology” which also features guest artists - fantastic soul & jazz singers from Latvia. In 2012 the group released their second instrumental album “Cruising In The Trolley”. In June 2009 the band released their self-titled debut album. All of the band's albums have been nominated in different Latvian Music Awards categories such as Best Jazz, Jazz & Blues, Instrumental, Best Debut, and the band's stop-motion video for the song Hugo was nominated as best Latvian Music video of 2010.

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