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#ICantBreathe: Pussy Riot Releases Their First English Song in Honor of Eric Garner [Video]

#ICantBreathe: Pussy Riot Releases Their First English Song in Honor of Eric Garner [Video]

Pussy Riot are back with their first English song, “I Can’t Breathe.” Inspired by Eric Garner’s death last July and the subsequent protests this winter, and produced with an all-star cast of musicians including Miike Snow‘s Andrew Wyatt, Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Russian bands Scofferlane and Jack Wood, Russian feminist punk icons Nadya Tolokonnikova andMasha Alyokhina recorded the haunting track and video in New York City in December of last year.

In the official video for “I Can’t Breathe,” Richard Hell reads Garner’s infamous final words, which soundtrack the film’s closing minutes. His monologue is preceded by a slow pan over Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina, who are buried alive while wearing Russian police riot uniforms. It’s uncomfortable to watch the two women flinch as dirt is unmercifully thrown over their bodies and faces, crumbling in between their teeth until they’re completely covered.

Max Pozdorovkin, who helmed the documentary Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, also shot and directed a second video that features footage from the protests, helicopter lights flickering in time with the crackling static beat and ominous bass thumping. Friends and family of Garner also appear throughout the video, lighting candles and staring penetratingly at the camera.

“Guys found us (me and Sasha) out of the blue,” says Scofferlane’s Matt, a.k.a. Stuart Stumpman, of how his band connected with Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina. “They just connected us and offered different kinds of collaboration. I have always supported freedom of expression and sympathized with what Pussy Riot do and it was nice to know that they appreciate our music. Anyway, it was unexpected when we soon got an invitation to New York. We fell in love with this city immediately. A perfect place for artists to create. As a result, instead of one song we’ve almost recorded a cycle of new songs. ‘I Can’t Breathe’ was the last song in this cycle and it means a lot to me. I felt the same heavy feeling far from home sitting in a small cafe, my heart was beating fast and I couldn’t help but write those lines: ‘It’s getting dark in New York City.’ Not because I didn’t like New York — I’ve never felt so cozy far from home — it’s just about the same problems that connect and keep us together. Sasha got her kicks singing with Richard in one booth. Her voice sound amazing and his part is just tearing me apart. And what’s more my lyrics were honored — to be edited by Richard fucking Hell!”

Adds Sasha Koklova of Jack Wood, “In this record you can hear the voice of trembling girl who felt a big responsibility by every inch of her skin. All this great musicians around and the main idea of the song . . . It was impossible not to fall in love with everyone in the studio, not to fall in love with this moment. I couldn’t even imagine to meet Richard Hell personally, but that night he was standing behind my back during the whole record session like a guardian angel! It’s hard to describe how much this song means to me. And I’m sure that girls, I mean Pussy Riot, are very grateful for kind-heartedness and availability to work with their ideas, too. Now I’m missing my new friends a lot — it’s easy to get used to good things in your life, you know . . . I wish this sacred ‘nuit blanche’ would never end.

“We gathered that evening at the studio of Shahzad Ismaili in Manhattan and at 7 a.m. the song was recorded.”

In addition to answering Billboard’s emailed questions about the video for “I Can’t Breathe,” Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina supplied their own questions and answers via email.

Source:
Billboard

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This entry was posted on February 19, 2015 by in Entertainment, Headlines, New York, NYPD, Pussy Riot, U.S. and tagged , , , , , .

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