While staring intently at the impenetrable blackness through a car windshield, you steadily turn the radio dial. The signal bleeds from neon rave synths into a ghostly haze. Rain begins to spatter the glass, and a click-clack beat fades in from the nothingness. A jagged pillar of lightning ignites the sky, and illuminates the world for a split second: you are surrounded by abandoned vehicles and wreckage. The blackness returns, and with it comes the bass . . .
Late night radio is underappreciated, particularly when the dial is tuned to a station that just barely squeezes through the airwaves with minimal clarity. There’s something so alluring about the washed-out instrumentation that peaks through the haze, and replicating that mysterious charm has become the aim for some artists. January Sun is the newest full-length from Russian singer/producer Yana Kedrina, AKA Kedr Livanskiy.
These six songs sound like phantoms, complete with hauntingly beautiful synths, skeletal house rhythms, and blankets of lo-fi fuzz draped over everything. The standout element is Kedrina’s ethereal voice, gliding over each ghostly composition in both her native Russian and English tongues, and also contorted into melodic loops at times. It’s the soundtrack for an abandoned dance floor, possessed by spirits, still ringing with life.
With feet firmly planted in both singer-songwriter and club-primed territories, January Sun is a rare gem. It’s initially unassuming in appearance and aches of simplicity, but it glows with gorgeous significance when absorbed as a whole. Kedrina is a uniquely charismatic presence, a truth that this brief EP shows off to a greater extent than many full-length records. If you’re seeking ethereal lo-fi house, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)