Plugged In is a limited-run web series for 91.5 KRCC Music in which contributors from Colorado College's student radio station, The SOCC, tip us off to great new releases, under-the-radar favorites, and other music they can't live without. Below are recommendations from Air Check intern and The SOCC's general manager, Paulina Ukrainets.
Kate NV –– “дуб OAK”
When I found out about Moscow’s rising electronic star, Kate Shilonosova––who plays under the moniker Kate NV––from a New Yorker article, I was really disappointed in myself. I spent most of my early childhood in Russia, and was raised by Russian parents, but it’s not something I like to discuss. To me, pretty much up until now, Russia epitomized the past. Current popular culture is rarely a point of pride for the few Russians I encounter; the only currently active musician the Russians I meet seem to want to discuss is Zemfira (an incredible artist, whose appeal is, unfortunately, lost on those who lack the ability to understand her lyrical poeticism.)
Luckily, I’ve simply been underinformed. Not only has Kate NV broken past the post-Soviet information wall to be lauded by Pitchfork and open for the likes of Frankie Cosmos and John Maus, she is also incredibly detail-oriented. Listening to “дуб OAK” feels a little like playing sonic tetris: all its layers have very different shapes and textures, but fit together in a stream of energetic forward motion. Both the listening experience, and the video that accompanies it, are just extremely pleasant.
Gorillaz –– “Lake Zurich”
If I'm being honest, Gorillaz’ last album––Humanz––was underwhelming. The songs didn’t have the energy of their previous work; even the guest features, impressive in their celebrity, couldn’t save the album. After its release, I lost hope in ever hearing Gorillaz produce something I'd consider as on-par with their previous work. The three recently-released singles off their upcoming album, The Now Now, have inspired some anticipatory sparks. “Lake Zurich” is well-paced and full of movement. Listen to it while walking or driving; the song will call attention to itself, and your journey, as worthwhile destinations.
Blood Orange –– “Christopher & 6th”
Devonté Hynes released this song in February, in honour of Black History Month. I listened to it then, liked it, saved it to my Spotify songs and didn’t pay it much attention, until now. This is one of those songs that’s made up of multiple parts: it starts out bare, with only Dev’s voice and brief, murmuring guitar chords. The lyrics tell a story of someone stunted by the world they live in: “society says don’t you speak.” Painfully appropriate, considering the context of the song’s release. Then comes a shift towards electronic beats, underscoring an isolated line: “I feel so sad.” This song, and its production, is a potent reminder of the power of things that seem deceivingly simple.