Ears Wide Open: Riki

Riki (Photo courtesy of Nedda Afsari)

The music of synth-pop artist Riki — aka musician and visual artist Niff Nawor — traverses the cold, dark hallways of the ’80s underground, not unfamiliar passages for those in L.A.’s vibrant Goth/darkwave/post-punk scene.

A former member of Bay Area deathrock outfit Crimson Scarlet, Riki (not to be confused with the Italian talent-show sensation) set out on her own in 2017, releasing a three-song EP. Two-plus years later, Riki’s self-titled debut album is coming out of Feb. 14 via the indie label that’s become a reliable dispensary for all things dark and experiemental, Dais Records (home to the likes of Drab Majesty, Youth Code and Cold Showers).

Any fan of early Depeche Mode (and anything first-wave post-punk, EBM, Neue Deutsch Welle or Krautrock) will feel at home with the early singles from “Riki.” The album was produced by Matia Simovich of INHALT.

“To my surprise I realize my heart beats in the perfect rhythm,” Riki sings in “Earth Song,” and as retro as her sound is, there is no shortage of either surprise or beats in these early singles.

Amanda Siegel directed the stylish videos for lead single “Napoleon” and “Earth Song.”

||| Stream: “Earth Song” and “Böse Lügen (Body Mix)”

||| Also: The videos for “Earth Song” and “Napoleon”