Coming up with the band Crimson Scarlet at the height of California’s deathrock/anarcho-punk scene, Riki made the change to solo artist in 2017 and hasn’t looked back since. Releasing her self-titled debut in 2020, the darkwave artist returns again in 2021 with Gold. Scientifically, the element is a heavy metal known for its soft malleable nature. Its density is equal to tungsten, yet, so soft, one gram of Au can be beaten into a sheet spanning nearly a square meter. It’s only fitting that Riki chose this title for her sophomore debut. With melodies as delicate as they are emotionally dense, this album clearly is Gold.

Photo Credits: Cameron Murray

Starting off with Lo, the single foreshadows the entire tone of the album. Channeling the likes of New Order and cult classic 80’s films, repetitive drums and vocals pave the way for epic bass fills throughout the single. Particularly interesting are the backup vocals, which erratically shout “Lo.” Riki’s irregular backup delivery does not care for reaching each note, making the tune more authentic.

In Marigold, Riki shines dueting with Josh Eustis, co-founder of Telefon Tel Aviv (who also produced Gold for Riki). The song is like a time capsule from the new wave generation, complete with arpeggiated guitar, a drum machine, and a synth-like sequencer. When evaluating the song, it is the synth that steals the show and lets the good times roll.

The musicality of Oil and Metal is exactly what the title suggests: mechanical yet never dull. The quirky robotic synth and vocals carry the entire song forward while cheeky lyrics relay a night of passion. The themes suggest that the encounters between the two lovers are methodical but romantic. The tension between the couple naturally creates an electrical explosion. 

The main vibe of It’s no Secret reminds me of King Krule’s discography mixed with “Ghost Town” by The Specials. The single brings a new meaning to relaxation, full of spacey, reverb-soaked instruments complemented by lovely vocals. By far the most soothing song off the album, you can bet that fans are already including this masterpiece in “chill playlists” all across Spotify.

In my discerning eye

I want to, I try

I lose this mind of mine

In never deny

I Fear the growing cold,

Oh just go away,

This game is getting old

Riki – Sonar Lyrics

Sonar takes you on an eastern journey full of cryptic philosophic lyrics. The sequencer carries the weight in this song and brings about a calmness to anyone listening. Add the drum machine into the mix, and you have a win for Riki fans.

Last Summer holds the title for most epic bass off the album. For some reason, I feel like Riki’s vocals really pop in this single and hit you straight in the face. If George Michael were a woman, he would be Riki.

The spacy guitar in Viktor transports you to another world full of darkness and self-reflection. If praise has been given to Riki’s vocals throughout this review, it shall be given again with Viktor. As smooth as butter, her singing compliments the pulsating instruments wonderfully.

Photo Credits: Cameron Murray

The Latin flare is strong with Porque Te Vas, with Riki singing in Espanol backed by Bossa Nova-inspired beats. Translated to English, the tune is melancholy at its finest, with the main protagonist in the lyrics knowing her love will leave her. The concern he will forget her is at an all-time high and the only solution is to reminisce about the good times in their relationship.

Comprised of vocals, sax, and sonic space, Florence & Selena steals the show by highlighting Riki’s beautiful voice. In all fairness, this song could quite possibly be the best song off the album, mixing Riki’s signature sound to the best of her ability. With a wicked smooth sax solo at the end, my dumb brain cannot help but imagine the performer as a shirtless man clad in sunglasses and jeans, gyrating his hips on a mountain.

 Photo Credits: Nedda Afsari

In summary, the ’80s are back and better than ever with Gold. Besides myself, any fan of the era will certainly love Riki’s take with this album. Now on tour, be sure to listen to Riki’s Gold via Dais Records and follow her here:

Instagram Facebook Bandcamp Dais Artist Page.

Regardless, you can always follow Glasse Factory for the latest scoop for More Riki News.

Just a guy who likes music.
Just a guy who likes music.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.