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 26th via Dais Records, and follows the gauzy, high-style video for lead single “Marigold.”
“Florence and Selena” was produced by Telefon Tel Aviv’s Joshua Eustis and written by Riki, who notes: “Opening the scene is a moody line on the saxophone, played by Charles Gorzcinsky, followed by Josh’s nostalgic twinkling keys.
This crescendos to a peak before a momentary breath in. To breathe in is to inspire: to animate the spirit. In this case it is to tell the story of old friends whose path forward is yet unknown.”
The new single is nothing short of astonishing. From the immersive saxophone opening the grand and expressive journey with this powerful sultry force to the shimmering notes and dreamy vocal harmonies. Riki has created this intense yet clearly intimate ensemble, exuding this deep emotional concentration.
Showcasing this array of bountiful beats and endless hooks, this track oozes distinct character and alluring entities. Consistently, Riki captures an essence of nostalgia within their creations, this is clear from the surges of intensity and the mighty tones on offer. Meanwhile, the intimacy from the vocal notes brings this complex layer to this vision.
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 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.
Los Angeles-based 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.
3. Oil and Metal
4. It’s No Secret
6. Last Summer
8. Porque Te Vas
9. Florence and Selena