Molchat Doma Break Down Their Brutalist New LP “Monument” Track by Track
The Belarusian coldwave trio detail their third album, out today via Sacred Bones.
Well, it’s starting to get a little chillier outside—but nowhere near as cold as the dead-of-winter coldwave of Belarus’ Molchat Doma. Experiencing two very different forms of viral stardom—Bandcamp curio to TikTok soundtrackers—early in their career, the group inked a deal with Sacred Bones here in the U.S. earlier this year to ensure their first two records would remain in print after selling out (likely due to the former viral audience rather than the latter), and ultimately putting out a third record through the label.
Monument is both the trio’s danciest and gothiest endeavor to date, written during the cabin-fever early days of the pandemic and seeing a release as COVID cases are once again on the rise. Rather than bogging their quarantined listeners down even further, Molchat let (relatively) loose on Monument, going so far as to include their (still severely overcast) Russian-language take on “Hotel California” they call “Leningradskiy Blues.”
With the record out today, we asked vocalist Egor Shkutko to give us a play-by-play on the record (though a translator)—stream the full album below, and read on for his thoughts.
1. “Утонуть” / “Utonut”
Once, after I took my synthesizer to maintenance, I came home and turned it on to check if everything was OK. I started playing some pad parts from here and the beginning of this track was laid. Then I thought about throwing in some bass. Piece by piece—this is how this track appeared.
2. “Обречен” / “Obrechen”
The track appeared thanks to the band Kino. One of the oldest sketches, at that time I listened to this group a lot. I am very proud of the bass part in it.
3. “Дискотека” / “Discoteque”
The very last track that was thought up for the album. If the previous songs were already written and were in the draft stage, then this track was created from scratch during the quarantine. I thought that the album was too dark and I needed to dilute it with a dance bomb.
4. “Не смешно” / “Ne Smeshno”
The strangest track from the album. Until the last moment, it was not clear how it would fit into the new material, because we had already played it live and it was clear how it sounds live. But how it would sound on the album, no one had a clue. It turned out well due to precisely this feeling of incomprehensibility, and it was possible to experiment with it as we liked.
5. “Ответа нет” / “Otveta Net”
Well, it’s simple and clear. Sad track with a very personal story. The lyrics, like the music, were written very quickly under the influence of personal events.
6. “Звезды” / “Zvezdy”
This one was written a very long time ago and also based on personal history. For the album we reworked it a bit and it sounds different from the single version. It’s also the oldest track on the album.
7. “Удалил твой номер” / “Udalil tvoy nomer”
Favorite song of our bassist. Again, it was drafted after I took the synthesizer out of repair. The initial part of the strings is played on it.
8. “Ленинградский блюз” / “Leningradskiy Blues”
“Hotel California” in Russian. Not a typical song for us, but why not?
9. “Любить и выполнять” / “Lubit i vypolnyat”
The song we came up with at the soundcheck in Chelmsford, U.K. Pasha and I immediately caught some kind of vibe and started jamming. I recorded the riff on a dictaphone and upon arrival in Minsk I rewrote it to the final arrangement.