A guide to the New East

Moments flow like fast-moving water in Kedr Livanskiy’s latest music video for Your Name, a coming of age story that follows two best friends in rural Russia caught up in the rush of youth. The first time we meet the girls they are taking photos of their matching friendship bracelets. By the end of the video, a night of partying takes them on two separate journeys. It’s a testament to how much can change in one day when you’re young — whether it’s your style, your love interest, or your friends. The name of a crush written on a cigarette turns to ash the very moment it’s lit, yet the intensity of it all lasts a lifetime.

The video, which we’re thrilled to premiere on The Calvert Journal, was produced as a collaboration between Yana Kedrina, the woman behind the alias, and filmmaker Konstantin Bushmanov. “Kostya and I went to film school together and I think since that time, all my ideas for scenarios and scripts have always revolved around what it’s like to be a teenager. I left film school before I got to complete her graduate film so this is a recapitulation in many ways.”

The track is the second release from Livasnkiy’s latest album, and follows the title track Ariadne with its capitvating video starring Kedrina herself. Your Name, by contrast, is one of the few videos by the queen of Russian underground electronica that doesn’t centre around the musician. “Half of the cast of the video is made of my friends. The other half are the fans, who answered my call-out looking for people to star in this new video. I’m very grateful for everyone who agreed to take part in this project and trusted me wholeheartedly.”

Though Kedrina decided to go behind the camera for this video, she still plays a significant role. The video was filmed at Kedrina’s dacha outside of Moscow. Everything that happens to the teens in the video, Kedrina says she experienced herself: “We wanted to create a classic teen drama and capture the mood of being young in 2003-2005, when your parents would send you outside of the city to your dacha for the summer. At that age, everyone’s concern was only how to get wasted and hook up with a girl or guy without your parents finding out.”

The narrative isn’t entirely autobiographical, more an age-old tale of being young. “I don’t think anything has changed in the lives of teens in many of these regions, perhaps only the style of clothes they wear and the phones they use.” Your Name has the same atmospheric quality of all her previous videos, that along with her signature dreamy sound, evoke anticipation and nostalgia in equal measure. 

Ariadne is available for download here

Text: Liza Premiyak
Images: All backstage photos by Anastasia Pozhidaeva

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