Los Angeles-based RIKI releases the noir video for her recent single “Florence and Selena,” directed by Travis Waddell and featuring self-styled looks by Riki. Filmed around Los Angeles, the moody video is the perfect accompaniment for the stunning track. It is the latest from the West Coast New Romantic icon’s upcoming album Gold, due November 26 from Dais Records, and follows the gauzy, high-style video for lead single “Marigold.”
Gold is RIKI’s second simulacrum of pitch-perfect synth-pop, aptly titled for the precious substance it is. Inspired by notions of symbolic power, letting go, and transmutable realms of the heart, Gold further refines her rare gift for making swooning melancholia as anthemic as it atmospheric. Working with Telefon Tel Aviv’s Joshua Eustis at his Pasadena, CA studio, the sessions unfolded fluidly and fruitfully, focusing on “quieter moments” and refining the record’s palette and voice. Occasional interruption from a nearby flock of wild parrots infused a mood of California dreaming, purple sunsets dissolving into deepening neon night.
Riki is a visual artist and musician who, before founding her solo endeavor in 2017, was active in the deathrock / anarcho-punk scenes of the California bay area (formerly a member of Crimson Scarlet). She characterizes her lyrical muse as “very much what’s going on in my life, things I wanted to say but didn’t have the platform.” This subcurrent of dream fulfillment animates the melodies with a specificity and immediacy that transcends her pantheon of 80’s influences: from Saâda Bonaire and Strawberry Switchblade to Bryan Ferry, Bananarama and beyond.
Riki released her instant classic self-titled debut album in 2020 — an album that explores courage, physicality, and romance across timeless synth pop anthems. Gold skews less dance floor but, taken as a collection, it’s equally stirring, stylish, and exquisitely produced. Evocatively layered arrangements of drum machinery, sequencer, fretless bass, grey sky guitar, saxophone, and FX, anchored by Riki’s singular voice, alternately widescreen and wounded, yearning beyond time for ecstasies both fleeting and forever.
New album Gold is available via Dais Records on November 26 and can be pre-ordered here: https://smarturl.it/riki-gold.