Alexei Shishkin Drops "dagger" - A Dive into the Sonic World of a Bedroom Alchemist

In the dynamic landscape of independent music, artists constantly push boundaries and redefine genres. 

By Chris RoditisMusicngear Lead Editor

Article photo - Alexei Shishkin Drops

Among them is Alexei Shishkin, a self-described "label's worst nightmare," whose latest album, dagger, recently dropped on February 2 via Rue Defense. Shishkin's blend of bedroom slacker pop, jazz voicings, and stream-of-consciousness lyricism makes for an intriguing sonic journey that goes beyond traditional musical boundaries.

The Album

Article photo - Alexei Shishkin Drops dagger is a sonic expedition home-recorded in Queens, NY, during December 2023. Shishkin's experimental approach, starting with drum tracks as foundations, results in a collection of songs that are both unfiltered and compelling.

The album art, featuring a photograph by Graham W. Bell of a basketball in mid-air at Rosemary's Playground, ties into Shishkin's thematic choice of naming the album "dagger" after the game-clinching shot in basketball.

The songs, mostly 'stream-of-consciousness' style experiments, reflect Shishkin's ability to build intersectional compositions from jazz voicings, simple loops, and musings on daily life. The diverse instrumentation and unorthodox recording methods contribute to the album's authenticity, providing a glimpse into his innovative musical world.

Gear Breakdown

Shishkin shared with us insights into the tools that shaped the creation of dagger. The album's sonic palette was crafted using a variety of instruments, including a Reverend Double Agent OG MA guitar, a vintage Ibanez bass snagged from Craigslist, a Yamaha P-45 B piano, a Korg microKORG synth, all recorded directly into a Focusrite interface.

Vocals were captured through a Rode NTG3 shotgun mic and a Shure SM58 LC. Shishkin's DIY ethos extends to his drum choices, relying on loops and samples from DrumDrops, with the entire project coming together in Garageband.


Alexei Shishkin's dagger proves the power of creative freedom and a DIY ethos in music. With a diverse array of instruments, a unique recording process, and a thematic nod to the intensity of a game-clinching shot, Shishkin's latest release is a sonic journey that enchants and offers a glimpse into his distinctive musical world.

Stay tuned for Open Door Policy, Shishkin's next musical chapter set to drop in summer 2024 via Candlepin Records.

Listen to dagger on Spotify

Connect with Alexei Shishkin
Twitter / Spotify / Bandcamp

About Chris Roditis

Chris Roditis has been an active musician since 1995 in various bands and projects across a variety of genres ranging from acoustic, electronic to nu metal, british rock and trip hop. He has extensive experience as a mixing engineer and producer and has built recording studios for most of the projects he has been involved with. His passion for music steered his entrepreneurial skills into founding MusicNGear in 2012.

Contact Chris Roditis at

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