Album of the Month: Listen to Russian Post-Punk Trio Ploho’s “Phantom Feelings”

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Ahead of the release of their new album Фантомные Чувства”, (which translates into the title Phantom Feelings), Russian trio Ploho, have provided us with an exclusive stream of their fantastic collection of nine warm yet melancholic tracks evoking the best of 80s synth, post-punk, and darkwave.

Previously, three singles from the album were unveiled. One of these songs is the bright and beautiful album opener “Между нами” which translates as “Between Us”. This song displaces some of the overlying gloom into a more brilliant bass-driven, with almost synth-pop-oriented beats, carried by a fuller, warm, and ardent vocal from singer/guitarist Victor Uzhakov, who shifts from his usual dry delivery into a more vibrant and resonant baritone.

The single sorry “Прости (Sorry)” is driven forth by droning keys, racing guitars, and swift bassline, overlaid with the repeating vocal refrain Прости (pronounced pras-TEE) while evoking the introspective feelings captured by The Cure through their second and third studio albums Seventeen Seconds, and Faith, along with visual allusions to those records with a stark, minimalist video filmed in a white studio.

The jangly guitar melody on the third single “Танцы в темноте”, (which translates as “dancing in the dark”), is both shadow and light, buoyantly carrying a dancefloor melody perfect for a nightclub circa 1983.

Every song on the record affects a wide dynamic range of complex and intangible emotions eliciting both joy and sorrow. Such complexity is found on the track “Старые фильмы”, which translates as “Old Movies,” has a positively irresistible refrain and synthpop melody, evoking all the anthemic atmosphere of early Depeche Mode.

The album closes with the deeply romantic anthem Песни окон и стен,” aka “Songs of windows and walls”. It’s a bittersweet melody, with traces of Head on the Door, and Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me era Cure, scoring the strength and resolve of the heart which its lyrical rhythms.

Leading up to the release of “Phantom Feelings”, we had previously spoken to Ploho, along with Molchat Doma, about the current wave of post-punk acts from Russia, former Soviet Countries, and the CIS.

“Now the spotlight is directed towards our country and a new horizon of a number of groups has opened up for many. But post-punk, as a genre, is far from dominating in our country.”

Phantom Feelings is out on February 5th, 2021, via Artoffact Records.

Order the album here and listen below:

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