There is a saying among some circles that could easily become a meme, about the same five Polish studio albums of 2018 constantly being put on a pedestal by some journalists. All riddiculing aside, 2018 saw many great albums being released by new and by more experienced bands, projects and musicians alike. Due to the constant work of small record labels and netlabels people could discover tons of great, fresh and new music and got to hear new songs of their beloved artists. So, just as in the previous round-up, it is a subjective recommendation. If someone were to ask Mateusz about Polish music of 2018, these are the albums he would be thinking of.
10. 3moonboys – Zawsze jest za krótko
3moonboys’ sound evolved as a result of searching for new mediums of expression, this time into atmospheric electronic mixed with a nice touch of pop lightness and charm, and other music genres. It could be the most experimental album of the band, in a sense: it eclipses the usual song structure, letting the music be the transmitter of emotions instead.
9. Ugory – Matko ciszy
Matko ciszy consists of excellent noises repeatedly poured over into the listener’s ears, mixed with fine atmosphere. Strange energy of the music, strengthened by drone sound evokes a feeling of anxiety. Songs like Glina i korzenie and Szósta noc bez snu (almost psychedelic in its tone) are the most vivid examples of mixing interesting melodies, the potency which lies in the band’s sound sound and the way they play the instruments.
8. młody π – zdycham powoli ale konsekwentnie ep
The distinction of młody π’s work is signalized by an inteligent, although seemingly impenetrable and specific humor visible in his lyrics. Seven very introspective songs on his EP, together with fine beats, sometimes can provoke thoughts of one’s life. Other times the songs help to distance oneself from the world, as does the rapper himself.
7. S K Y – p r e y
p r e y reflects upon vulnerability and sensitivity with a great sensing. Yet at the same time, the sadness-driven songs create a gloomy. Heavy bass and cold synthesizers seem to be soothing but at the same time it sends shivers down the spine. Full review.
6. Katie Caulfield – Mutual Dreaming
Katie Caulfield’s music is impressive because the band with their powerful sound, can evoke a great and specific atmosphere. As challenging as it is, Mutual Dreaming reawakens the once forgotten energy. And as the band members say: You just need to be in the right mood to listen to it.
5. Panowie – Full Automatik
When it comes to Panowie’s hypnagogic pop, formulas and schemes do not seem to work. Every song on the uniquely climatic album is very energetic. The atmosphere greatly harmonizes with all the melodic and unusual songs.
4. Koko Die – Distant Light EP
Koko Die created one of the most authentic albums of the year. Konrad Nikiel’s shoegaze/ dream pop songs of endings are very emotive and at times expressive. The emotions are carefully dosed, and so is the noticeable melancholy and a specific atmosphere of each song.
3. FFRANCIS – Off the Grid
There is a certain level of strange dreaminess in FFRANCIS’ music. Misia Furtak’s remarkable voice, the sound of bass (most probably the beautiful butterfly-shaped instrument on which she plays at live shows) and mainly slow, heavy and strangely shaky beats created by Piotr Hatti Vatii Kaliński concur to an album with untypical and fascinating sound.
2. Bukowicz – Dyskomfort w głowie
Another very authentic and impressive debut. Specific cold and melancholy that mark all the songs (a bewildering, in a way, combination of shoegaze, cold wave and dream pop) create an incredible, somewhat dreamy atmosphere, close and cold at the same time. The band finely balanced the weight of the songs with great melodies and fantastic guitar sound.
1. Mazutti – Mazutti – Kształt Jazzu Który Ma Dojść
Mazut (a duo consisting of Michał Turowski and Paweł Starzec) and Macio Moretti jammed for several hours and created an album full of brilliant compositions, as uncanny and challenging, as exhilarating. It is worth mentioning that the album was recorded on old instruments. Such experimental mix, amazing sounds of e.g. Hammond organ, modular synthesizer, hurdy gurdy, theremin or even vuvuzela, seem to penetrate one’s brain and are very energetic and hypntozing at times.