TheLetterElectronic Music Guide

Xenia Beliayeva - Riss
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New album from the Russian Pop deity Xenia Beliayeva has a fittingly-titled opening track, High Expectations, which reflects my eight year wait for the follow-up to Ever Since, her dark, synth-poptastic debut on Shitkatapult back in 2010. Inbetween there's been a handful of collaborative tracks (with folk like DubfireKim Pixa, André Winter and Oliver Huntemann) alongside her ongoing Radio Xenbel podcasts and celebrated multilingual live shows but nothing satisfies like a proper long player, eh? And thankfully new album Riss, a German word for crack (as in fracture, not cocaine) picks up where she left off.

Packed with sharp hooks, throbbing bass and harmonic melodies, Riss presents a timeless sense of Pop, one that would easily translate to the standard guitar, bass, drums combo. With moods varying from dark ballad (Riss) through emotive Pop (Because) to fun and upbeat (Televisor) there's plenty to latch onto, with my favourite changing with each listen. Of the twelve tracks, two are instrumentals (Leise Schritte and MINS) and while both are strong tunes independently, sequenced as they are, near the end of album, the resulting flow becomes stilted, largely due to the long gap at the end of MINS making it feel like the official end of the album before two further tracks surprise you.

  • Rating: 8/10
  • Listens: 16
  • Highlight: Because
  • Label: Manual Music
  • Release Date: 16th Mar 2018


Xenia Beliayeva - Riss