Words by Anna Piszczkiewicz Photo by Anna Rowinska
My favourite Polish folky pop duo Paula & Karol spent the last week playing the South By Southwest (SXSW) music showcase in Austin, Texas. Now they’ve arrived in Toronto for Canadian Music Week (CMW), along with a few other venues.
Simply put, Canadian-born Paula Bialski has brought Warsaw-born Karol Strzemieczny and their merry-men to her home-turf.
They have a number of shows lined up for their Canadian friends. Here are the dates:
March 24 FILTER Magazine Showcase, Cabin 5, Toronto, ON, 10 pm
March 28 St. Andrews Church, North Bay, ON, 8 pm
March 29 Van Gogh’s Ear, Guelph, ON, 8 pm
Check out the video for the first single off their upcoming second studio album Whole Again, to be released April 19th. And a bonus! You can download the track for free here.
If you don’t know much about the band, Paula & Karol may seem like a Canadian girl and a Polish guy who got together to write a few happy folk pop songs on a some folky instruments.
But the real Paula & Karol are not just a duo but a large family of Warsaw-based musicians who, for the past two years, have been capturing the hearts of young and old alike, across Poland and abroad. The Guardian listed them in their “sound of 2011 around the world”, stating that “They are Poland’s new superheroes. Not the tight pants, fluttering cape kind. More like, come to our concert – we’ll break your heart, and then we’ll fix it up kind.”
After the release of their EP Goodnight Warsaw in December of 2009, and their first studio album Overshare on alternative label LADO ABC in December of 2010, the band gained rave reviews by local media, bloggers, and fans, gaining accolades as ”discovery of the year.” One blogger, commenting on their live act, stated: “I’ve just seen one of the most enjoyable concerts in my life, and perhaps the new torchbearers of the Polish music scene.”
By singing in English, and writing songs filled with catchy melodies and lyrics that prioritize honesty, community, and love over hype and postmodern blasé, the band has been touching listeners that cross a range of generations and nationalities.
In the past year, Polish cultural organizations picked up on their gift for reaching wide audiences and sent them to represent modern Polish alternative culture at festivals in Iceland, Germany, Holland, the Ukraine, France, the U.K., and the United States.
Today, Paula Bialski and Karol Strzemieczny play and create music with Christoph Thun and Staszek Wróbel on percussion, Krzysiek Pozarowski on bass, and Szymon Najder on electric guitar. All of them would agree that an honest discussion over dinner is as important as making music together.[like] [tweets]