Monday, January 3, 2011

In Case You Don't Get to Eastern Europe Too Often: Some Polish Indie

A few weeks ago I posted one track--one--from Polish band The Car is On Fire. Then I went to work. 

I came back after three hours (yes, I work three hours at a time; no, I'm not a hooker) to find that my daily number of hits had doubled compared to the average. Actually, it showed that I had received 300 times more visitors from Poland on that day than I'd had since this site began. This led me to believe that either The Car is on Fire has ridiculously large, supportive families, or the Polish music community is very tight. Factoring in the added e-mail influx, I had to presume the latter, which was confirmed by Lora Lie's Mateusz Romanowski's admission that "(The) Polish alternative scene (is) rather small...Most of these bands are... friends."

Small, yes, and not very international. When a foreigner thinks of Poland, they probably think of polka bands or death metal--indie music doesn't really spring to mind first. Certainly didn't for me. So it was great to be sent so many links to so much music I never would have found on my own. 

After dozens of Polish bands, I may not be an expert but I've got a few things figured out. First, the Polish sound tends toward the dark and moody--and this is from someone in Russia, remember. But then the same mood also allows for an intensity and grit that western indie can be a little shy of these days. 

Pictured: brooding, gritty intensity..
This post is a scrapbook of my first musical trip to the Poland scene. Obviously not everything sent to me could make it, but then no one sent me cash bribes, either (this is from someone living in Russia, remember). 

Some things I dug:
  • Crab Invasion was introduced to me as a band for Modest Mouse/The Wrens fans. I'm adding a dash of new wave to that description and a bit of grime. Personally, I just love how every raucous noise has its place. It'll makes you want to dance down in front of the stage. (myspace):

  • When We Were Very Young, took their band name from the A.A. Milne collection of the same name, and their songs from the poems. They're Floydish psychadelic/experimental but bill themselves as "children's music", which is either tongue in cheek or proof that Polish kids are way, way fucking cooler than kids everywhere else.  I couldn't find a way to embed, but their playlist can be found here and it's worth listening to even if you don't have any offspring. Or, if you want, you can just play it at random neighbourhood children.  (myspace)

  • On the folksier side, check out Jacek Kulesza Trio; Suitcase and Tambourine. The name is equal parts non-sequitor and very sensible in that there is no trio (just Jacek) but he does indeed play a suitcase and tambourine. Yep--plays the suitcase. (website)
  • Lora Lie is an uncompromisingly depressed garage band. Their own myspace page describes their music as "melodramatic (pop) songs" and that right there is bloody fantastic. And right on-trend with hints of grunge. Update: download Lora Lie's Rewind EP here.

  • Finally, I'll direct you to Karate Free Stylers whose neo-shoegaze-new-wave-noise EP At Least We Are Able to Breathe is so completely entrancing, it's a sin that seemingly no one outside Poland has heard it before. Go download it from their bandcamp now, before it stops being free. Go.


  1. -
    Lora Lie - Rewind EP download :)

  2. You should check up The Spouds :)

    Greetings from Poland.

  3. Of coure I meant 'check out' xD

  4. On it now---thanks for the tip!


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