Who: Russian producer and musician Biicla, well known in dance music circles in Moscow and St Petersburg, and famous for fusing instruments and genres from hip-hop to drum and bass and indie rock in his tracks. Released late in June, his latest drop, Getting High, is the first single from his upcoming debut EP Outside.
What to expect: Getting High kicks off with gentle keyboard notes and melancholic autotune vocals. As the track continues, the soundscape is slowly invaded by rhythmic electronic beats and percussion, while the vocals become increasingly distorted. The video, shot by Biicla in his home in the northern Russian town Labytnangi, in the Yamalo-Nenets autonomous province, shows the artist in a small, dim room: as night sets in, he fidgets, cleans compulsively, and sometimes stares at the camera with a blank, confused gaze, a personification of the song’s lyrics on emptiness and loss.
What they say: “When you listen to the track for the first time, you think it’s about a girl, but that’s not quite true. This is a song about addiction: the main character is definitely not getting along with himself and he tries to relax and disconnect from problems in the video,” says Biicla. “When I made this track, I already knew what the music video would look like. It was exactly the mood I was in at that moment. I like simple and clear visuals, and the special thing about this release is that, for the first time, I use my music to share my thoughts and experiences.”
Why you need to listen: Getting High is moody, atmospheric, and meditative. It is also the first of Biicla’s songs with lyrics — no mean feat for an artist used to dance rhythms. Despite verging on the claustrophobic, the video adds a storytelling element to the song, while also relating to the universal experience of isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic. Getting High is an easy listen, and a track able to both relax with its entrancing beat, and spark thoughts with its deep, existential lyrics.