On Tuesday the American-British indie duo The Kills released the video for Siberian Nights, from forthcoming album Ash & Ice. Guitarist Jamie Hince began writing the record three years ago during a solo journey on the Trans-Siberian Express from Moscow to Vladivostok and back again. 

“I wanted to go away somewhere on my own and find out what I had in me. I just took my guitar, all my notebooks and a camera. The first thing I wrote was Siberian Nights. I had this vision of the record being this icy, paranoid record as I was traveling through Siberia. But the rest of the songs are more about the emotion, the struggle,” he told Domino Records.

The Kills are among a dozen of artists who have turned to the east to find a fresh look for a new single — British band White Lies covered the vast, icy Siberian territory for Farewell to the Fairground back in 2009. But while there is no sign of the harsh Russian wilderness in the video for Siberian Nights, there is a sense of intense isolation throughout. Directed by Giovanni Ribisi, the video  features flashes of fur, gold and brocade but it’s the wolf that takes the starring role, running away from someone or something into the darkness of the night.  

Hince recently joked that the song is actually about the Russian president. “It’s about Vladimir Putin. With a homoerotic vibe. I wanted to imagine him as a tyrant that’s got a bit of time off. He’s with this man, and he just wants the warmth of a masculine body. They’re cuddling and he says ‘Look, we can get back to being tyrants tomorrow. I’ve got needs, but no-one understands. I love all these people — I even love Pussy Riot — but why don’t they love me?’,” he said in an interview for DIY magazine

Ash & Ice is set for release on 3 June.

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