Molchat Doma

Belaya Polosa (Sacred Bones)

Contact Ahmad Asani, Jaycee Rockhold about Molchat Doma

Belarusian post-punk / synth-pop group Molchat Doma announce their new album, Belaya Polosa, out September 6th via Sacred Bones. In conjunction, they present the lead single/video, “Son.” Molchat Doma have always exuded the kind of brutalist aesthetic of the architecture that adorns their album art. It’s cold, gray, imposing, industrial—and yet there are human hearts beating within those foundations. In the wake of their breakthrough success in 2020, the trio endured a polarity of experiences, from the nadir of an uprooted life and forced relocation away from their native Minsk to the apex of headlining massive shows across the world. It was in this headspace that the band settled into their new home of Los Angeles to finish writing their fourth album Belaya Polosa, a testament to change in difficult times, a love letter to the digital pulse of the ‘90s, and a technicolor reinvention of the band’s somber dancefloor anthems.


Today’s single “Son” exudes emotions of anxiety, disappointment, hopelessness, and fear. It’s a dream-like examination of how it feels to leave for the unknown, knowing that you won’t be able to return to your old life. The band elaborates: “‘Son’ was written before each group member experienced significant life changes, including a move to a new and unfamiliar country. It reflects the destruction of everything once familiar. The video aims to capture the emotion of leaving for the unknown, knowing there is no return to your old life.”


The  “Son” video was directed by Bryan M. Ferguson at a remote pyramid in the Scottish highlands and Assumption Studios in Glasgow.  Ferguson comments: “It’s about a dream that feels like reality, and that dream bleeding into real life. The themes of ‘Son’ are universal and they bleed into the video through a Lynchian style odyssey of alienation. Our protagonist discovers an isolated stone pyramid in the middle of a dreamlike state, breaking the boundaries of reality by entering the structure through liquid and light to be met with darkness. I wanted to make something emotionally charged but atmospheric to match the song.”


In the four years since Molchat Doma’s last album, Monument, there was so much change in the lives of vocalist Egor Shkutko, bassist / synth player Pavel Kozlov, and primary songwriter, producer and arranger Raman Kamahortsau that it was only inevitable to hear a transformation in their music. “The entire album is a prism through which we tried to reflect what has happened to us,” the band says of their new work. Kamahortsau once again handled the production duties, though the sonic spectrum on Belaya Polosa is markedly different from past albums.


From the album’s opening synth swell and drum machine throb, Belaya Polosa propels them into a new direction while retaining their cold minimalist delivery they’re known for. The basement grime and dirty tape-head sound of their previous work are now making space for digital luster and shimmering production values. Belaya Polosa pulses with the precision of early ‘90s EBM, conjuring a mixture of electronic precision, warehouse club palpitations, and despairing minor key melody.


Moving on from the band’s past sound was only natural given the album’s themes of change and turning away from a troubled past into an uncertain future. “It’s a different band,” a member of Molchat Doma says when asked about the advanced arrangements and timbral ear-candy of Belaya Polosa. “A different sound and context, but the same style and the same emotions.” And indeed, Molchat Doma retains the duality of being both cold and feverish in their delivery while pushing their music into expanded territories through an armory of new textures. The trio continue to harness the sound of harrowing beauty thriving under harsh realities.