Russian feminist collective Pussy Riot released their new EP, PANIC ATTACK, today (3/11). It's a precursor to their upcoming debut album, due out later this year, and they shared first single, "TOXIC," ft. Dorian Electra, and produced by 100 gecs' Dylan Brady, in February. It's a typically politically-focused track from the collective, which also discusses about struggling with emotionally abusive relationships. Upon its release, founder Nadya Tolokonnikova said:

In 2021 Pussy Riot, is going to celebrate its 10-years-anniversary. It's been 10 years of a radical experiment - of creating exclusively art that's inherently political. Every single art piece we create is political, there can't be exceptions to this rule.

TOXIC is political, because personal is political. The single reflects on the importance of self-care, cherishing your mental health and staying away from relationships that poison you. A few years ago I went through an emotionally abusive relationship (that ended up being physically abusive, too - I was being held against my will in a house we lived in).

They followed "TOXIC" with "SEXIST," ft. Hofmannita, earlier this month. It's a commentary on patriarchy, misogyny, and rape culture, released just ahead of International Women's Day (3/8) and with an accompanying music video featuring men literally dressed up as pigs. About it, Nadya said:

SEXIST, the music video, flips upside down the main premise the patriarchal culture: instead of women and queer people being objectified and serving as furniture, we use sexist pigs as furniture. The project is lead by female and queer people, and we hope you'll enjoy our gift to you. Happy upcoming 8th of March, the international day of fighting gender-based oppression.

SEXIST, the song, comments on the rape culture, and tells a fictional story of a heroine being invited to a hotel room by a high-level male government official, being harassed and winding up murdering her abuser in self-defense. The lyrical idea was born after watching "Welcome to Chechnya", a documentary on kidnappings, tortures and murders of LGBTQ+ people in a Russian republic of Chechnya.

We hope that SEXIST will bring closer the world without harassment and discrimination based on gender and/or sexuality. The video does not encourage to oppress anyone, but rather satirically highlights arbitrary and absurd nature of any oppression. From Russia, with love.

Along with the EP's release, a video for the title track is out today, which discusses mental health, as well as the connection between mental health and one's environment. It's a personal account of Nadya's own struggles with a panic disorder, and the video, which was directed by augmented reality creator Asad J. Malik of Jadu, shows Nadya traveling through virtual landscapes in hologram form, which became possible with the use of 106 cameras that captured footage of her from all angles. Nadya writes:

After serving 2 years in a labor camp, I'm still struggling with mental health issues. Trauma, fear, and insecurity never fully go away, causing depression episodes and deep anxiety.

"PANIC ATTACK" was born as the result of me staring at the wall for 24 hours in the middle of the pandemic, feeling 100% helpless. I was trying to write something uplifting to encourage people to get through the tough times. But I was just failing and failing. Magically, at the second I allowed myself to be honest and write about despair I was experiencing, I wrote the track in like a half an hour.

Depression is a plague of the 21th century, and it tells me that there's something broken in the way we treat each other. The video "PANIC ATTACK" reflects on objectification of human beings, loneliness, disconnection from the environment that causes us to feel small and powerless. And it's us who caused it with our own hands - that's why in the end of the video I'm fighting with my own clone.

Watch all three videos below.

"PANIC ATTACK" will also be offered as a series of four NFTs, available for purchase on Foundation on Saturday (3/13). Proceeds from the sale will go toward supporting Pussy Riot's art and a shelter for victims of domestic violence in Russia.