Tag: Italians Do It Better (Page 1 of 7)


“Do your thing, don’t be afraid”, that is the message from the intimate independently made documentary by Radio Plato about DLINA VOLNY, the enigmatic trio from Belarus.

Masha Zinevich (vocals), Vad Mikutski (bass) and Ales Shishlobegan (synths) began making music together as DLINA VOLNY in 2016, issuing their debut EP ’Neizmerima’ not long after. While their first album ‘Mechty’ emerged in 2018, a wider international breakthrough came in 2021 with the impressive second long player ‘Dazed’ released by Italians Do It Better, the label best known for GLASS CANDY, CHROMATICS and DESIRE.

Describing themselves as ’brut-pop’ thanks to their post-punk meets synth-noir aesthetics, the doomy spectre of The Cold War looms in their sound. Strong songs such as ‘Do It’, ‘I’m Not Allowed’, Tomorrow’ and ‘Redrum’ are complimented by an artful visual presence. With the dark disco of ‘Bipolar’ asking “what is it like being on the border?”, the ongoing conflicts in their part of the world and their public stand with Ukraine led to uncertainty and DLINA VOLNY relocating to Lithuania.

On behalf of DLINA VOLNY, front woman Masha Zinevich kindly answered a range of questions put to them by ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK about their musical universe and upcoming UK + European live shows.

How did you feel as a band that the time was right to take part in a documentary because some might view this as a conceit when you have released only two albums?

When Radio Plato pitched us the idea for this documentary, we felt like it was a great way for us to communicate our thoughts and feelings with our audience. We do that through our music but in a different way. So it was nice to discuss, elaborate on and appreciate what we’ve been doing amongst the three of us and share it with the world.

Were you concerned that a documentary might negate the cool mystique that has arisen about DLINA VOLNY which has been part of the band’s appeal?

No concerns at all. We like to talk to our listeners on social media and get to know each other. We’ve made quite a few mates all over the world this way, which is incredible. This film is one of those instruments for our people to understand us a bit better and see what our day-to-day looks like.

I do hope our mystique is still appealing and is still there haha

DLINA VOLNY could be considered unusual as a modern band in that you appear to spend a lot of time together, both creatively and socially whereas others engage remotely?

I’ve always thought that bandmates are supposed to be close. It always seemed to me that my favourite bands are best mates apart from just being a collective of musicians making music and touring together. And we work best when we’re in the same room and we take advantage of this opportunity. Working remotely would work too but there would be a different feel to it.

What concerns social life, we spend so much time together sharing our feelings with each other, pouring our hearts out that it’s only natural to me that one would want to chill with friends, go to shows etc, after all that hard work as a collective too.

How has the move to Lithuania worked for you?

It’s been working really well. We have a studio (in a prison), which is a first for us and we couldn’t be happier about that. We’ve also made quite a few mates from the Lithuanian arts scene, who are wonderful and incredibly talented people, who are loved and appreciated by Lithuanian people very much. There is a sense of community and belonging, which gives one endless opportunities to make music, shoot videos, collaborate and bring one’s ideas to life.

One of the biggest revelations in the documentary is that ‘Redrum’ was heavily influenced by THE DOORS… once you know that, it’s really obvious, what is the story?

We all love THE DOORS. Whenever there’s a jukebox in a bar, we always play THE DOORS and sing very loudly while showing off our most emotional moves. For some reason, I’ve always thought that everybody does the same, but at a bar in Mexico, when we were celebrating the end of our tour with LEBANON HANOVER, I realised that this was only our group’s sacred ritual. I found it even more special after this realisation.

We are all about emotion and feeling and each member of this legendary band brings so much of it to their music. We adore it, and ‘The End’ is so cathartic, so when ‘Redrum’ was being born, we felt this energy coming through and thought we should keep going in this direction.

Your debut album ‘Mechty’ from 2018 was bilingual, but how did the decision to record an album entirely in English with ‘Dazed’ come about?

It has always been more natural for me to write in English, since I would always listen to foreign music and spend a lot of time in London from a very young age. Writing in Russian was a challenge that we came up with when we started the band, just like the whole concept of DLINA VOLNY at the beginning – low vocals, synths, bass.

On ‘Dazed’ we wanted to just let go and write what and how we felt like. So writing stories in English was just that – a natural urge.

While your songs deal with the fragile reality of life which is enhanced by the contralto vocal delivery and dark atmospheres, there is usually a melodic sparkle coming from the synths like on the ‘Dazed’ title song, ‘Bipolar’ and ‘I’m Not Allowed’, was this template influenced by anything or any other bands in particular?

Not sure if it was influenced by any band in particular but the idea was to create dark surroundings and contrast them with a ray of hope in the form of those melodic sparkles. We do like to conceal dark meanings in more upbeat sounds, if they may be called that. We feel that it adds to the melancholy.

Since ‘Dazed’ was released in Autumn 2021, tensions have risen further in your part of the world. How has that affected you as artists and activists?

Well, we live in constant worry. The fact that there’s absolutely nothing we can do is super depressing. We can only find escape and release in playing shows and recording new music. Being on tours is healing and absolutely priceless so we are incredibly grateful that we can do that.

The glorious ‘Whatever Happens Next’ made some important statements?

It sure did. This song puts what we feel in simple words and powerful sounds. Unfortunately, it remains relevant, but now pertains to more than one dictator.

DLINA VOLNY and Italians Do It Better are an ideal fit, with your love of ‘Twin Peaks’ and the colour red, how did the connection come about?

We’ve always been big fans of IDIB so when ‘Dazed’ was coming together, we thought it was time for us to get in touch with them and see if we could work together. They loved the demos and offered us a deal an hour after we sent out that email. Pure luck.

Releasing ‘Dazed’ on Italians Do It Better was a step in boosting DLINA VOLNY’s profile internationally but have you experienced any cultural boycotts or travel restrictions as a result of the world situation?

Thankfully, it only happened once. We got cancelled by a promoter in Europe right after the war in Ukraine started.

As a sign of the wider international recognition of DLINA VOLNY, you collaborated with VANDAL MOON on the song ‘Easy To Dream’, how was the experience to work outside of your norm?

It was very interesting and pleasant. Blake Voss of VANDAL MOON is a wonderful human being, with whom we met when I tagged him in a Tik-Tok to ‘Hurt’, which I made with my dog Cherry. Blake offered to collaborate and we agreed straight away. ‘Easy to Dream’ is such a great song! When we received the first mix, it helped me let go and cry for the first time since the war started. It was such a powerful and liberating moment. We’re still in very good contact and are hoping to meet offline sometime soon.

DLINA VOLNY covered Madonna’s ‘Hollywood’ and interpreted it as a much harsher warning to those seeking fame and stardom. With this in mind, what are your hopes and fears for the future?

We hope to continue making music and touring, reach new audiences and immerse more and more people into this safe, ethereal and infinitely versatile space that we like to create.

How do you feel you have changed as a trio since you released the ‘Neizmerima’ EP in 2016?

We have definitely all grown as musicians and as people. We understand how things work and what we want to achieve a little better now, which, I hope, helps us reach new heights with the new album.

What is next for DLINA VOLNY? You are touring Europe in 2024?

Yes! We are touring Europe and the UK in January and February 2024. We are super excited since it’s going to be our first ever show in most of the cities we’re playing. And also it’s gonna be our first time touring the UK. Since we’re from Belarus, we need UK visas so it makes it a little more difficult to come to the UK. But we are very happy that we’re finally doing it!

We’re also looking forward to sharing new music with the world.

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its warmest thanks to DLINA VOLNY

Special thanks to Alex at Radio Plato

‘Dazed’ is released by Italians Do It Better as a CD, purple vinyl LP, cassette and download, available from https://dlinavolny.bandcamp.com/

DLINA VOLNY 2024 UK + European live dates include:

Groningen ESNS Festival (19 January), Brussels Cafe Central (20 January), London The Black Heart (21 January)*, Newcastle The Lubber Fiend (22 January)*, Manchester YES Basement (23 January)*, Liverpool Kazimierz Stockroom (24 January)*, Paris Super Sonic (26 January)*, Bordeaux Iboat (27 January)*, Laval La Fosse (28 January)*, Toulouse Le Ravelin (29 January)*, Lyon Sonic (30 January)*, Dudingen Bad Bonn (31 January)*, Mannheim Juz Mannheim (1 February)*, Bochum Die Trompete (2 February)*, Copenhagen Råhuset (4 February)*, Oslo Dunk (5 February)*, Gothenburg Hängmattan (6 February)*, Stockholm Kollektivet Livet Bar & Scen (7 February)*, Malmö Plan B (8 February), Amsterdam Cinetol (10 February), The Hague Grauzone Festival (11 February)

*special guest Jennifer Touch




Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
11 December 2023


Despite being thousands of miles apart, KID MOXIE & NINA bonded online over ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Twin Peaks’ and ‘Drive’; the respective musical monikers of Elena Charbila and Nina Boldt, their debut collaborative EP ‘Lust’ released on Italians Do It Better was a sexy and sultry concoction that explored themes of erotica with a dark yet playful demeanour.

While ‘Electric Kiss’ was the carefree ride that presented the light on the EP, ‘Devotion’ represented the darkness and something altogether more sinister. In a new mini-movie for the latter filmed in Los Angeles and directed by Joe Rubenstein whose credits also include the saucy visual presentation for the KID MOXIE single ‘Shine’, the mini-movie sees the infamous DURAN DURAN video ‘The Chauffeur’ meeting ‘Blade Runner’ within an array of vivid colours

With bendy synth sounds provided by producer Hristos Lainas and driving metaphors pointing to forbidden liaisons, in a joint KID MOXIE & NINA interview with ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK, Nina Boldt said of ‘Devotion’: “I really love that spoken word mixing with the sensual vocals and it’s a bit more playful and there’s anticipation there…”

In a car chase backstory with a twist providing a sexy mystique, Elena Charbila admitted about the video’s inspiration: “It’s probably the most ‘Blade Runner’ influenced because of the location amongst the tall buildings. There’s a chase and as our most dangerous sounding song, it has some Theremin in there as well. There’s a universe where ‘Devotion’ is the track of being chased, but whoever is chasing us doesn’t want to do anything bad to us!”

‘Devotion’ is from the ‘Lust’ EP released by Italians Do It Better, listen via https://idib.ffm.to/lustep









Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photo by George Tripodakis
11th May 2023

CAUSEWAY Interview

With the likes of GLÜME, MOTHERMARY, JOON, KID MOXIE & NINA attracting attention for their longer form releases on Italians Do It Better, one act also deserving equal recognition are CAUSEWAY.

The Idaho-based dreamwave duo of Allison Rae and Marshall Watson, CAUSEWAY first appeared on the Italians Do It Better compilation ‘After Dark 3’ in 2020 with the song that would become the title song of their debut album ‘We Were Never Lost’.

With a few more singles and a cover of ‘Crazy For You’ for their label’s Madonna tribute album under their belt, their floaty melodramatic aura revealed itself to be the perfect soundtrack for unrequited and failed romances.

Despite appearing to be enigmatic and veiled in mystery, the duo are actually very friendly and down-to-earth when engaged in conversation about their music. ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK spoke to Allison Rae and Marshall Watson about the making of CAUSEWAY’s first long playing record and much more…

It appeared as though CAUSEWAY came out of nowhere with ‘We Were Never Lost’ featuring on the ‘After Dark 3’ compilation in the Fall of 2020?

Marshall: We kinda did. Allie and I had worked together on a couple of small projects way back in 2012 or so and had lost touch. Fast forward to late 2019 and I was working on an early version of ‘We Were Never Lost’ and Allie messaged me asking what I was up to musically. We started talking about what lyrics might look like and if she had interest etc. It took a few months but we finished ‘We Were Never Lost’ and on a whim I sent it to the Italians Do It Better via Soundcloud.

Megan Louise of IDIB got back to us within the day and said she loved it and would like to put it out on an upcoming compilation. She was a bit cryptic and I didn’t realize she was talking about ‘After Dark 3’. We didn’t know it at the time, but they’d made room for us. Johnny Jewel was nearly finished mixing the whole comp and they were just waiting on finals from a couple other artists. They snuck us in at the end. We didn’t even have a name for the project yet, it all happened so fast. Soon after that, ‘Riverdale’ licensed it for a pivotal shot in one of their episodes and things just kinda took off.

Allison: In 2016 I moved back to Boise. I actually never told him. There was just so much going on, it slipped my mind. So when I reached out to him, it was kinda funny. He told me that he sent a couple emails to my old work email address and didn’t get a reply. When I reached out to him, he told me that he thought that I was ignoring him. Then we got to work!

Which artists, films or TV shows influenced the aural aesthetic of CAUSEWAY? Had you always intended to be synth-based?

Marshall: I can definitely hear THE CURE, NEW ORDER and early new wave stylings, but I don’t intentionally set out to do that. I definitely wanted CAUSEWAY to be synth forward and more song structured than my other output. As a solo artist, I make lots of different kinds of music, most of it ambient / downtempo / chill or house / techno and mostly instrumental.

For CAUSEWAY, I set out with the intention to create more lyrical tracks and get back into a vibe that I’d been into years ago. As for films, John Hughes movies, Kubrick’s films and lots of Sci-Fi.

How would you describe your creative dynamic in CAUSEWAY, do you sit in a room together or is it more remote by necessity?

Marshall: We started out during the pandemic and worked entirely remotely. In 2021 my wife and I moved up here to Boise and for a brief time Allie and I worked together in a room, but we kinda realized that we both needed space to process and work through stuff, so eventually we went back to working remote when it came to the creation process. That said, we have a pretty strict rehearsal schedule that we adhere to, and twice a week meet up for band practice for the live set. It’s been really neat to go from a learning curve to really enjoying playing together. I still send Allie demo tracks and she will send back lyrical ideas.

Allison: Typically, Marshall will send me a rough instrumental track. I’ll listen and add in lyrics and sing them to a scratch melody line. We use Drive to share our ideas and files. Once I have a rough demo, I send it back to Marshall. Sometimes he’ll make notes to the lyrics and usually change up the melody line. We go back and forth until the idea is finalized. This process works well for us. It’s been a blast working with Marshall.

How did the Italians Do It Better become interested in releasing an album and what did Johnny Jewel bring to the final mix?

Marshall: I guess they just heard something they liked in ‘We Were Never Lost’. As for Johnny Jewel, I love working with him and he cracks me up. He actually made a point to stay hands off on the mixing most of the album. He mixed ‘WWNL’, ‘Hide & Seek’ and ‘Your Silent Face’ as singles, but after that when we were starting to really go deep into the rest of the album, he said that we’d created a really solid sonic palette and he didn’t want to step on that.

He does, however, have mix notes on everything, lol. EVERYTHING. Most of that is level, eq and whatnot but occasionally he’ll have an idea we explore that is a little deeper.

For example, during the mix of our latest single ‘Wear The Night Out’, he had this amazing chord progression he heard that didn’t exist, and he played it for me super-fast— I wouldn’t say it ‘changed’ the song, but it definitely gave it something it was missing—and it made it better. So, he’s there, but he’s not always all up in it. Mostly.

Allison: I don’t know what their pull was to us, but they have been amazing to work with and I’m loving every minute of it. They are so supportive and always hook us up with the best feedback and artwork.

‘Let Me Love You’ is an epic start to the ‘We Were Never Lost’ album and makes a statement both lyrically and musically, it reminds me a bit of ‘Oostende’ by KEEP SHELLEY IN ATHENS…

Marshall: That is my ‘Plainsong’ moment I guess. That song went through several face lifts but we’d always kinda thought it would be a good opener. I wanted it to be big, both sonically and emotionally. In fact I’d say we’re going all-in on the emotive thing on most of our tracks. Lotta pain.

Allison: Lyrically ‘Let Me Love You’ comes from so much pain and grief from my last relationship. Wanting things in a relationship to be like they were in the beginning, wanting to pretend everything is fine when it absolutely isn’t. The line “Let me love you like we’re alright” I think says a lot in a sentence. When I write, I try to say more with less. The tail end of our album was written during my separation and divorce, and I think my writing was greatly influenced by that even though it wasn’t intentional. It’s interesting listening back and it’s so obvious. I guess my feelings had to get out somehow.

The first rendition of this song was my absolute favorite. Marshall knows, but he broke my heart when he changed it. The wall of sound he created had so much feeling. If you could put a sound on how you feel right before you cry, that what it sounded like. It was so beautiful. Marshall also has an amazing ability to see a project on a larger scale, and the first rendition didn’t fit with the album. He was able to see that. I didn’t. I eventually came around, and he was right. I am so happy with the result!

I have since added ‘Oostende’ to my playlist. Thank you for the comparison! We are flattered.

Yearning is a recurring theme on and this is quite vivid on ‘Hide & Seek’?

Marshall: Yes. We write a lot about pain and loss.

Allison: Haha, yes we do. I think the yearning in ‘Hide & Seek’ comes from a desire to be wanted. It speaks to every person that feels lonely in a relationship and the wandering eye that comes with it.

‘I’m Falling Apart’ which later appeared on ‘After Dark 4’ has this gorgeous disco lento feel about it, what was its genesis?

Marshall: That was one of the few tracks that I wrote most of the lyrics, and I guess we needed a slow chugger that might work on a dance floor. That was another one that had many faces before the final version. I’m into slow disco.

Allison: This song was almost entirely all Marshall, other than me showing up to sing. Love performing this one live!

You’ve said that ‘Loser’ is about a desire for deviance, are you able to say what your deviance is? 😉

Marshall: Allie wrote the ‘Loser’ lyrics… maybe she can speak to that?

Allison: I think it would be a deviance to go against the norm. The line “I wanna be your loser, I wanna feel so lonely with you” is the idea that society has rejected you as an outcast, a loser… but you would rather be alone with your person and be their loser than care about the rest of the world. I could explain the literal meaning behind this song, but once the cat’s outta the bag, it ruins the mystery.

‘Running To You’ appropriately has this real drive to it with arpeggios and staccato voice samples?

Marshall: Those choppy vocals bits are taken from Allie’s vocals. It was Johnny’s idea to add them in and I think it helped elevate the track.

Allison: ‘Running To You’ was a song that Marshall and I wrote together in his studio. We prefer to write separately, but this track was fun to write together. It came with challenges. Mostly, not wanting to look or say something stupid. Ha! But I think we are both over that now.

‘Crazy For You’ was originally recorded for the ‘Italians Do It Better’ Madonna tribute album, what led to your choice and how you went about the arrangement?

Marshall: When IDIB asked us about participating, I went through a bunch of Madonna tracks that I liked and would possibly work with a modern arrangement and I kept coming back to ‘Crazy For You’. I worked on the arrangement of that track for months. In my mind I heard a more industrial, almost psychotic version where she was “cray cray” for you, à la stalker, and less about the gentle 8th grade slow dancer.

We open our live show with it… there’s something about when Allie sings “Swaying room when the music starts” just before that huge kick comes in. Thus far, people go nuts when that first drop happens.

Allison: Yeah, Marshall kept texting me song titles and I kept replying “no” to everything he sent. Then at the end of the day he texted me “What about ‘Crazy For You’?” and I immediately responded “That’s it!”

CAUSEWAY tackled another cover in ‘Your Silent Face’ which happens to be my favorite NEW ORDER song; it was interesting that on your version, the main symphonic string hook didn’t appear until halfway through?

Marshall: That is one of my fave NEW ORDER songs too. I love the whole ‘Power, Corruption & Lies’ album. I’d been working on a cover of ‘Your Silent Face’ for years before Allie and I tackled it through CAUSEWAY. I held off on the synth line because I wanted to have a little more tension and I also knew that most people might not recognize it until that line came in, so I’m using it as a tension / release thing. Maybe going back to my techno roots a bit with that.

‘Birthday’ closes the album featuring solemn lines such was “How has it been another year?” and “I wish that you were here”, was this an autobiographical narrative?

Marshall: ‘Birthday’ is another one that I wrote most of the words for. I had a dream / nightmare about everyone I loved dying and I was left alone grieving. The line “I brought you flowers for my birthday, how has it been another year” was just going round and round in my head… it woke me up, and I wrote it down. The next day I got up and wrote the rest of the track. I had a demo of that one in about a day, it was one of the few times the writing process went really fast. The track isn’t autobiographical per se, but it is all about grief which is universal. I don’t think any of our songs are autobiographical, but we do try to tap into the story of pain and suffering, love and loss.

Allison: This one is one of my favorites! Marshall nailed this one.

Which are your own favourites on the ‘We Were Never Lost’ album?

Marshall: Hard to say for me. I’ve worked so hard on all of them I’m kinda numb to them at this point. ‘Let Me Love You’, ‘Birthday’ and ‘Crazy For You’ maybe?

Allison: ‘Loser’, ‘Let Me Love You’ and ‘Hide & Seek’, I think I love these tracks the most because the feeling behind them is still raw. Another favorite again is ‘Birthday’, it’s just beautiful.

CAUSEWAY did several live performances recently, how were they for you and did they light the desire to do more? 

Marshall: At first I was completely against playing live. I didn’t think the tracks would translate well in a live setting. With some nudging from Allie, I agreed to do our first show in Oakland, which ended up being riddled with sound issues. It was a shame too because the venue was packed and the crowd was really up for it.

We had trouble with Allie’s mic but we survived. I thought we might be done with live performance but we just finished playing SXSW and Treefort, and that was a blast. For SXSW we had a decent crowd but here in Boise for Treefort, the Neurolux was packed front to back. I was shocked. Treefort was the first time we were playing without the IDIB label machine behind us, which usually has its own power to bring people in. When you are playing on the same bill as ORION, GLÜME, MOTHERMARY and DESIRE… people tend to show up. But here, we were on our own and it turned out amazing.

JOON was also on but much later, and there were punk bands in-between. When the first drop of ‘CFY’ hit, the whole room went off—it was exhilarating. As for the future, we don’t know yet. We’ve discussed adding a few other tracks to the set and maybe playing locally. Flying with a synth and gear is a hassle, but I could see us doing some gigs in PDX or SLC or more in Boise.

Allison: I absolutely love performing live. It’s addictive. Can’t wait for more live shows.

What prompted you to choose to cover ‘Nobody’s Diary’ by YAZOO live?

Allison: This was Marshall’s idea. So I’ll let him speak more about the decision. I absolutely love singing this song live. There is so much drama and mood in the track. You can see us live here if you are interested.

Marshall: ‘Nobody’s Diary’… just like LCD in ‘Losing My Edge’… I wanted to make a YAZ record… kinda. YAZOO was a huge influence for me growing up and ‘Nobody’s Diary’ is one of my favorite tracks. I thought it might be ambitious to tackle that one, and it’s taken quite a while to hone in on the sound for the cover, but ultimately I love how it has turned out. Every single time Allie sings “If I wait for just a second more… “, I kinda lose it inside, and can’t wait to drop it on folks. Right now we have been playing it last in our sets and I LOVE when I can hear people recognize it… I guess it’s some sort of weird validation—I feel like an old raver then… tryna teach the people about something they should know. I just hope we do it justice.

Your new single ‘Wear The Night Out’ is with R. MISSING which is a quite fitting musical union like your label mates KID MOXIE & NINA, is this an indicator of another direction that CAUSEWAY is heading with collaborations?

Marshall: I dunno. I really like R.MISSING and I hit them up on Insta and asked if they’d be into collaborating. I sent Sharon a few demos and she picked one she thought she’d want to work on. It was really seamless and they are amazing artists. She wrote the lyrics and did the heavy lifting on the vocals and I did all the music production and added Allie in, almost as a character for call and response. Blending the two voices was really interesting to me because they are quite different but worked together really well. As for an indicator of future collaborations or direction, I’ve done one other ‘remix’ for an artist that DESIRE was working with but that’s about it. I’m open to collaborations, but it’s all about fit. Most don’t work out so well.

Allison: We had a blast working with Sharon! She killed it. Her instincts were spot on, and Marshall made our voices blend so well together. It was a great fit! We don’t have any collaborations in the pipeline but doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

What is next for CAUSEWAY?

Marshall: Working on new music. IDIB want another album. We’ve got 3 tracks ready (which we’ve been playing in our live set) and a 4th just about ready and several sketches. I’d say sometime this year we’ll have a new one. We’ll see. Our schedules dictate that quite a bit. Maybe more live shows? We’ll see 🙂

Allison: My goals for CAUSEWAY would be more live shows, a killer second album. Mean dirty break up album. Haha! I would love to make another music video. Dream big, right?!

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its warmest thanks to CAUSEWAY

The new single ‘Wear The Night Out’ with R.MISSING can be heard via https://idib.ffm.to/wearthenight

The album ‘We Were Never Lost’ is released by Italians Do It Better and available on the usual digital platforms including https://wearecauseway.bandcamp.com/








Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
29th April 2023


When artists are mutually fans of each other, it can lead to a happy union, collaborative possibilities and even ‘Lust’.

For the LA-based Elena Charbila whose most recent solo album ‘Better Than Electric’ under her nom de théâtre KID MOXIE was released in 2022, she fell in love with NINA’s ‘Synthian’, the title track from the Berliner’s second album. Meanwhile, the German adored the Athens-born songstress’ cover of ‘Big In Japan’, the 1984 international breakthrough of fellow Germans ALPHAVILLE. Despite being thousands of miles apart, KID MOXIE & NINA bonded online over ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Twin Peaks’ and ‘Drive’.

Then crucially, the pair met for real in Berlin, Athens and Los Angeles, using the limited time together on each occasion to fuel their creative urgency. The end result is a 5 track EP entitled ‘Lust’ that captures a seductive film-noir tension with a fantasy world that provokes a cool air of mystery.

Released on Italians Do It Better, the first track to be premiered was a cover of ‘Waiting For Tonight’ on the label’s ‘After Dark 4’ collection in 2022; originally recorded by 3RD PARTY, an American girl trio fronted by the song’s co-writer Maria Christensen but made famous by Jennifer Lopez with added Latino dance vibes, this downtempo cover of a cover exudes a sensual anticipation of consummation with accentuation of the main melody.

The ‘Lust’ title song takes things further in a lengthy retrowave excursion into excess and passion, a cyclical feel to point to an affair that lingers unfinished but continues purely on chemistry regardless on consequences. As our heroines conclude that “lust is a crime”, ‘Crime’ provided some saxy drive from Skylar Funk as the ‘Blade Runner: The Erotic Cut’ approach adds arousing spoken word for an inviting “one night with you” to make your dreams come true to a backdrop of warped bass notes, cut-up voices and lush six string from Oliver Blair aka RADIO WOLF.

The paciest track on the EP, ‘Electric Kiss’ makes further use of Blair’s guitars for a dreamy carefree drive into the sunset. Counterpointing that mood, ‘Devotion’ is much more sinister with bendy synth sounds and Theremin swoops acting as aural metaphors into a forbidden relationship while mixing more spoken word mixing with sensual vocals to heighten anticipation.

A perfect match, ‘Lust’ is a sexy and sultry concoction that explores themes of erotica with a dark yet playful demeanour that provides a wondrous escape. Embrace this seductive partnership as you see fit, but the perusal is all part of the excitement.

“We’re creating a fantasy world cinematically, sexually speaking” said Charbila to ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK, “People can think whatever they want about ‘this’. Are we singing this to each other? Are we singing it to your man, my woman? It’s up for your interpretation; we’re not going to feed it to you. It’s just going to be a warm dish, you can eat it however you want.”

‘Lust’ is released as a digital EP via Italians Do It Better on 24th March 2023, pre-save at https://idib.ffm.to/lustep











Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by George Tripodakis
22nd March 2023, updated 24th March 2023

KID MOXIE & NINA Interview

Photo by Paige Von Bank

‘Lust’ is the title of upcoming collaborative EP by KID MOXIE & NINA released by Italians Do It Better.

KID MOXIE is the musical vehicle of Athens-born LA-based musician and composer Elena Charbila whose most recent solo album ‘Better Than Electric’ was released in 2022. Meanwhile, Berliner Nina Boldt is best known by her mononym NINA as the “Queen of Synthwave” with two acclaimed albums ‘Sleepwalking’ and ‘Synthian’ to her name.

The union began from Charbila’s desire to cover ‘Waiting For Tonight’, the 1999 hit by Jennifer Lopez, in a downtempo retrowave style. Meetings took place in Berlin, Athens and Los Angeles to produce five tracks and three videos together.

The end result came to the attention of Italian Do It Better, best known as the home of CHROMATICS and DESIRE who appeared on the soundtrack to the 2011 movie ‘Drive’. After issuing ‘Waiting For Tonight’ on the ‘After Dark 4’ compilation alongside other acts on the roster such as JOON, MOTHERMARY, DOUBLE MIXTE, CAUSEWAY, DLINA VOLNY, LOVE OBJECT and GLÜME, the prestigious label signed the pair to release the ‘Lust’ EP.

From opposite sides of the Atlantic, Elena Charbila and Nina Boldt got together on Zoom with ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK to chat about their fruitful partnership, the making of the ‘Lust’ EP’ and becoming part of the Italians Do It Better family.

So who approached who?

Nina: Our manager Michael Pagnotta, who we’d both known for a long time individually, brought us together, he thought our voices would match really well together. He was right and it’s such a cool collaboration. I found our voices to be very complimentary.

Elena: Michael worked with ERASURE and that’s our mutual connection because Nina played some shows with them in the US… I was asked to do them too so we would have met then but I ended up doing a remix of ‘Sacred’ from their album ‘The Violet Flame’. Michael told me I had a doppelgänger in Germany and made the suggestion to do something.

At the time, I was obsessed with the idea of doing a J-Lo cover so when we started talking, it became apparent that this would be awesome to do as a duet and how sexy it would be to put a new twist on such a dance track, slow down the beats and make it sinister like Miami Nights 1984 or something. That’s how it started…


Photo by Paige Von Bank

Your version of ‘Waiting For Tonight’ has this sensual anticipation of consummation… *laughs*

Elena: I feel the way it was, it was very clubby and commercial… we’re both obsessed with stuff like ‘Drive’, ‘Blade Runner’ and all those things, and they have this driving bass sound which is sort of like a trademark for both of us at this point. I felt we should bring it to that song. It has such a beautiful melody but I think the whole beat situation and Latin vibes don’t let that shine. I feel like in our cover and I’m very proud of it, I think we really accentuated the melody.

Did you know the Jennifer Lopez version of ‘Waiting For Tonight’ is a cover, the original was by 3RD PARTY?

Elena: I found out along the way! *laughs*

Nina: Chi, you’re doing your homework really well… even knowing that, I have a special fondness for J.Lo’s version as it was kind of a new millennium dance theme.

In terms of getting to know each other musically, was there a particular song by the other which convinced you “I want to work with this girl!”?

Nina: That’s a very good question!

Elena: When Michael mentioned Nina again to me, I started listening to her stuff and I became obsessed, like I know ALL the lyrics!

Nina: You were AMAZING! You were singing ‘Synthian’ really loud and knew all the lyrics while we were driving in LA! I was impressed!

Elena: I was obsessed! These songs are magical, they’re beautiful. There were certain songs like ‘Synthian’ for example that I found so ballsy, it could have been an 80s anthem, there was no holding back. I loved the idea of that, it was very courageous in a way and it was owned itself. That particular track for me, I was like “let’s f**king do it!”

What was it about Elena that convinced you to work with her?

Nina: I fell in love with her vocals, I love how sensual and smooth they are. One of my favourite tracks is ‘Big In Japan’ by ALPHAVILLE so when she covered that, I thought it was awesome because covers are difficult things to do and not everyone gets it or you don’t feel connected to it because you are so used to the original… but this cover, she made it her own just like she did with ‘Creep’. So before I met Elena in person, ‘Big In Japan’ was the standout for me, just because it’s one of my favourite songs…

Elena: It’s such a good German choice 😉

Photo by Paige Von Bank

So how did the Italians Do It Better connection develop?

Elena: Well Nina knew Megan Louise who is DESIRE and President of the label…

Nina: A while back, Megan featured my cover of Blondie’s ‘Heart Of Glass’ in one of her mixtapes. Being a huge fan of DESIRE, this was a great honour for me, so I reached out and we started talking. She was so supportive of my first independent release ‘Carnival Night’ when it came out, which I really appreciated. I got to know her a bit better and after meeting Elena, we both realised that we felt the same way about Italians Do It Better, so it was an obvious choice for us to go with them.

Elena: We really wanted to be adopted…

Nina: We were both free and it was like “Take us, we love you!” *laughs*

Let’s talk about the title song of the EP. I thought it was interesting that there is the obvious English meaning which is more erotic but ‘Lust’ is the German word for “Pleasure” in a more innocent manner… was there any deliberate choice of that word?

Nina: That’s interesting, I never actually thought of it like that! I had this lyric “lust is a crime” and I just wanted something about open love and excess which we both felt the same way about. We originally thought about calling it ‘You & I’ or even ‘You & The Night’ early on, but I think it was Johnny Jewel who suggested ‘Lust’.

How did the title track develop musically?

Elena: It was the second or third track musically that came together, ‘Waiting For Tonight’ was first and sprung the whole idea of the EP, then ‘Devotion’ and ‘Electric Kiss’ were respectively the darkness and the light. ‘Electric Kiss’ was the carefree ride and ‘Devotion’ more the sinister ride *laughs*

‘Lust’ actually came last as a compliment to everything that was going on sonically, like a bridge… it was like we needed something soft yet deep because ‘Electric Kiss’ carries the emotion of sweet connection but there’s no actual love or devotion.

For the most part, the music was made in Athens with Hristos Lainas aka Franklin producing the project. I was writing it and sending it to Nina and she would give feedback, we would bounce back our vocal ideas about it and it went from that.

Then there’s the video for ‘Lust’…

Elena: The video is pretty sensual and erotica, now that I think about it, there’s different kinds of love in every song… in Greek, there’s different words for each kind of love, it’s not just “love”, there’s “eros” which is the erotic love and there’s the devoted deep love… ‘Waiting For Tonight’ is maybe our anticipation for new love in my head.

Nina: ‘Lust’ for me is like a deep connection, that excess and passion…

Elena: It’s that going back one more time, something that’s unfinished, it has that cyclical feel to it musically and lyrically that it keeps going back. For me, it was like my personal favourite, I immediately had such a ❤️ connection to that particular track. Which one is yours Nina?

Nina: They all have something special but if I have to pick one, it’s ‘Devotion’ because I really love that spoken word mixing with the sensual vocals and it’s a bit more playful and there’s anticipation there. I think it’s interesting also that Hristos did that bendy synth sound…

Photo by George Tripodakis

Yes, I really like that bendy synth sound on ‘Devotion’, it’s as though it’s illustrating the risk of driving into a forbidden relationship? 

Nina: There’s a lot of that, but with ‘Electric Kiss’, it’s more sweet and innocent, that’s more a “drive into the sunset” kind of song, I feel that contrast. It feels a lot more 80s in a way, Synthwave fans will hopefully enjoy that track as well. RADIO WOLF does that dreamy guitar sound which I’m a big fan of.

The EP’s palette is quite varied, you have pacy songs, slow retrowave, covers and ‘Crime’ has this “saxiness”

Elena: It was supposed to be called ‘Sax Is A Crime’ but you know, people just said “use one word, ‘Crime’”!

Nina: The sax for ‘Crime’ was a bit of a surprise when I heard it in LA and that prompted some sexy spoken words. Our approach was ‘Blade Runner: The Erotic Cut’! Haha! For the EP as a whole, since we wanted to express ourselves in new ways, we incorporated unexpected musical ideas. That’s why the mix of lush guitars, warped bass notes, and cut up vocal FX are built in. They aroused our creativity..

Elena: We’re both obsessed with ‘Blade Runner’ so when I recorded it here in LA, I had this view of the skyline and I had one of my best friends Skylar play that particular sax line. I didn’t know if we were going to put vocals on it or have it as an outro to the EP to add to the cinematic element of the other tracks. When Nina and I heard it together, Johnny Jewel felt it needed to be like ‘Blade Runner’, sultry like ‘Tears In The Rain’ but as it’s androids, its devoid of sexuality, whereas ours, it’s very human and very inviting, it’s inviting “one night with you”, we’ll make your dreams come true.

We’re creating a fantasy world cinematically, sexually speaking. People can think whatever they want about ‘this’. Are we singing this to each other? Are we singing it to your man, my woman? It’s up for your interpretation; we’re not going to feed it to you. It’s just going to be a warm dish, you can eat it however you want.

Photo by George Tripodakis

Are there any more videos planned?

Elena: There’s one for ‘Crime’, it’s definitely in line with the song, it’s hot and very inviting, and it’s very red and black! *laughs*

Nina: There’s sexy silhouettes…

Elena: And there’s one for ‘Devotion’…

Nina: Yes, it’s a bit more of a driving song so we have a car in there. It was filmed in Los Angeles and it’s got lots of neon lights, very sexy and colourful, I don’t want to give away too much… it’s quite different from ‘Lust’ which is nice…

Elena: …it’s probably the most ‘Blade Runner’ influenced because of the location amongst the tall buildings. There’s a chase and as our most dangerous sounding song, it has some Theremin in there as well. There’s a universe where ‘Devotion’ is the track of being chased, but whoever is chasing us doesn’t want to do anything bad to us. *laughs*

Now although you are on different continents, you have met up a few times in Berlin, Athens and LA… which meet-up was the most fun?

Nina: It’s hard to choose. So many great memories but meeting in Berlin was exciting because it was our first encounter. We just gelled together so well. I’m so proud that we managed to write five songs in only two days, that was incredible. Also to me personally, after COVID and all that, things had been difficult so it was a real escape just being in the studio making music.

Elena: I feel like Berlin was basically finishing the EP, putting down all the vocals and writing the lyrics, I’d never co-written lyrics before… co-writing can be such a “back-and-forth” thing and can take f**king ages, but this was, and I kept joking about it, like German efficiency… cos Chi, you know, Greeks, when you leave them loose on their own, they ain’t efficient! *laughs*

So Berlin was like hankering down to finish the EP but then LA was about putting the visuals to the music with a video directed by Joe Rubenstein for ‘Devotion’. It was like fleshing out the universe of ‘Lust’ as it does have themes of old Hollywood with images of palm trees, glamour and driving luxurious cars at night… it has a mystique.

Then in Athens, we shot two videos with director Paige Von Bank, it was so crazy because we did them both in a day. They were filmed by George Geranios of FOTONOVELA who you know and Sophie Sarigiannidou from MARSHEAUX did our make-up, it was all such a family affair… and then we feasted at George’s family tavern after the shoot

That does explain the creative tension in this collaboration which does have this urgent feel about it, there’s no “mañana” about it …

Elena: yes, for me, it was the first time we crammed so much in a “pop” or song-based project of mine. With the soundtrack stuff, I am more used to the pressure of “deliver this now” which feels very stressful always, but for this, it felt like the good kind of stress that you are going to be so productive and you have this challenge. I feel like we made it every single time with Nina. Usually, it’s just “I’m just writing a song, it could take however long” but this time it really worked for me.

Photo by George Tripodakis

So what is the future of your creative relationship? Are you going to do a second EP?

Elena: I would love to do more stuff and I’m sure we will, but we are working on our own individual projects at the same time so it’s an open door.

Nina: That would be great! I think collaborating is a wonderful way to learn new things and push the envelope. I’m always open to it.

Are live shows a possibility or is that really not practical or cost-effective?

Elena: I mean, it’s not easy but we both want it and hopefully we will make it happen.

Nina: It would definitely be an adventure that everyone would enjoy, so I hope we can make it happen. Where there’s will there’s a way!

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its warmest thanks to KID MOXIE & NINA

‘Electric Kiss’ is available as a single on the usual online platforms, pre-save link at https://idib.ffm.to/electrickiss

‘Lust’ is released as a digital EP via Italians Do It Better on 24th March 2023, pre-save at https://idib.ffm.to/lustep









Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by George Tripodakis and Paige Von Bank
2nd March 2023

« Older posts