And I still can’t figure out why
you were born there and not I
They’re firing rockets on your apartment
and not on the one of mine
Following a successful round of US shows last autumn, after more than ten years away from the American touring scene, Lebanon Hanover recently made a compelling return with a double A-side single, their first new offering since the mesmerizing Sci-Fi Sky of 2020. With Better Than Going Under/KYIV, the enigmatic William Maybelline and Larissa Iceglass skillfully blend the earthy tones of folk-acoustic and the ethereal qualities of classic dream pop with the raw emotional depth of post-punk. This fusion serves as a reflective journey through the fleeting yet intense experiences that shape our existence.
Through the evocative strains of KYIV and its beautiful accompanying video, Lebanon Hanover invites its audience to deeply contemplate life’s inherent splendor, even in the throes of despair. In this piece, the band crafts a sonic tableau that speaks to the collective human spirit, endeavoring to sow seeds of hope and solidarity in times of upheaval. The track, imbued with a poignant emotional depth, delves into the essence of the human experience, touching upon themes of being, understanding, and the interconnected story of our world.
The interplay of acoustic guitar and drum machine evokes a soundscape reminiscent of the Cocteau Twins’ Treasure, offering a listening journey marked by melancholy and haunting beauty. Iceglass’s voice, its deep, morose timbre shifting into a tone of resigned lament, captures the stark realities of grief. This reflection, devoid of a specific storyline, resonates with a universal empathy for those caught in the crossfire, highlighting the stark differences in human experiences shaped by mere geographical chance. The addition of a sombre trumpet further enriches the song, illustrating the depth of despair yet simultaneously acting as a beacon, advocating for unity and shared compassion to navigate the tribulations of existence.
Directed by Nastya Platinova, the video captures the duo as they contemplate these severe realities within an almost surreal environment. It juxtaposes a beautiful, sunlit landscape against the backdrop of a dilapidated cathedral-esque building’s ruins, creating a striking visual metaphor that amplifies the contrast between beauty and decay, hope and despair.
Watch the video for “Kyiv” below:
“Better Than Going Under / KYIV” is out via Fabrika Records on a limited edition white and gold 12-inch vinyl, as well as the standard black.
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