With new music proliferating at inconceivable speed, it’s sometimes hard for us listeners to keep up with what’s happening in their own hometown, let alone on other continents. Luckily, CMJ Music Marathon is next week and we’ll all have a chance to see what over a thousand artists from all over the planet have been up to. Here are three top-notch Polish acts that are excited to bring their fine pop tunes to CMJ 2013: Rebeka, The Last Kiss aka Fuka Lata, and Iza Lach. (Check out the full schedule here.)
Rebeka—vocalist Iwona Skwarek and producer Bartosz Szczesny—have managed to do what many bands never achieve: establish their own band identity. With a name that according to Skwarek amalgamates both “holiness and kitsch,” the electronic duo combines crude and clean synthdriven sounds with intricate stories that feel like puffs of fresh air. The band’s single (and most representative song), Fail, is an innovative synth-pop track filled with distortion and drumbeats, and their latest album, Hellada, (Brennnessel) exemplifies the journey they’ve gone through as musicians in order to find their experimental pop sound.
“Hellada is a dream land full of abundance,” Skwarek says, “but when we get there it turns out that our ideal disappoints us. This album was supposed to be a journey. We were looking for the truth of each song, as if we were trying to seek out the sounds instead of composing them.” While their recorded music is marked by crafted arrangements and layers of instrumentation, the duo claims that their live shows are a much more raw and rapacious affair.
Electro-poppers The Lask Kiss aka Fuka Laka, on the other hand, claim to come from a “non-existent police state.” The better to take listeners away from reality and into a dreamlike world via their space-pop swirl. The duo is composed of singer Lee Margot and guitarist Dr. Mito, who no doubt accrue some of their otherworldly inspiration from working in their studio space that sits atop a skyscraper in Warsaw, Poland. “The sense of music and art in general is to take you from reality to a different place. To let you be like in a dream,” said the band. “This is the best reason for why we make our music.” The duo has released three records in the past two years, and has evolved from improvising trance-like music to continuously experimenting with their synth pop tracks. They will release another single this year titled Tulips, and expect their new EP to come out some time at the beginning of next year.
Unlike those more experimental duos, Iza Lach is a more pop and hip-hop oriented solo artist. This young performer has already had a long and fruitful career: The 24-year-old singer/songwriter signed her first record deal at age seventeen, has already been nominated for two Polish Grammies, and was proclaimed The Princess of Polish Pop by MTV. What’s more, Lach is collaborating with Snoop Lion in a series of projects that include collaborative songs, mixtapes, and a music video produced and co-directed by him (below). The pair is also getting ready to premiere a feature length film, Birds Of A Feather, that tells the story of their musical relationship through twelve music videos. Busy lady!
Even though she seems to be on the right track to stardom, Lach claims that although international success has always been on her mind, her main ambition is to move people with her music, and hopes to prove it at her CMJ show. “My goals are beyond titles,” said Iza. “I’m more proud of the feedback I get from my listeners. To know that my songs and lyrics help them overcome a difficult situation or just makes them feel better is far more important.”
Iza performs Tuesday, October 15 at Lit Lounge. Rebeka performs Wednesday, October 16 at Fat Baby. The Last Kiss aka Fuka Lata performs on Friday, October 19 at Trash Bar.