Jolly New Songs review – Impose Magazine
As Gdańsk, Poland-based band, Trupa Trupa, gear up to release their third record, Jolly New Songs, on Friday, October 27th, there’s a tangible sense of excitement for audiophiles and poetry-lovers alike.
It’s a much-needed vibe for today’s musical landscape: feelings of triumph make the tracks feel like anthems for a culture who needs this poetry to sooth them — a mother’s milk for our mal-nourished global psyche. The glorification of being imperfect swirls with a self-awareness akin to falling down in the middle of the street, and getting up laughing, rather than ashamed or embarrassed. It’s dark, but there’s no light without darkness. It’s no surprise after listening to the new album that the band’s name roughly translates to “Corpse Corpse,” which appeals to the goth and satirist in all of us. It’s also no shocker that singer and guitarist, Grzegorz Kwiatkowski, is an award-winning poet in Poland. In fact, Trupa Trupa themselves have been shortlisted for the Polish equivalent of the Mercury Music Prize. The depth of the lyrics is meticulously match-made to the musical compositions, creating a small universe of emotion for each of the 11 tracks on the forthcoming album.
Today, Impose has the exclusive of the album’s trailer, which only goes to show that this album is a gorgeous disorienting landscape of sound, light, motion and emotion.
First single, “To Me,” (which happens to be the last song on the record) was inspired by Walt Whitman’s legacy. With many genres interlaced – from post-rock, to grunge, to psych rock, to alternative, it swirls with through the body until it hits every atom, while the percussion syncs like a heartbeat. The video that accompanies the track offers a visceral vibe that feels like an exercise in perspective — disorienting and beautiful at once. It’s heavy and light at the same time. Calming and wild. Gritty and soft.
Second single, “Coffin,” is a sullen love song that makes questions the definition of intensity, as the guitars over a sense of power and strength. The video, a fitting accompaniment, shows power stations in a nighttime haze of leafless trees and moonlight. The metaphor isn’t lost on lovers, dreamers, skeptics or realists.
The rest of the album, which you can hear next week, continues this nighttime ride through the mind. For such an intellectual and introspective piece of art, some may be surprised that you can dance to this album. Funk grooves move the hips with Can-inspired track “Falling” — highly recommended for lovers of Britpop. Psychedelic meltdowns mutate the Wurlitzer fairground music of “Only Good Weather” into something dark and psyche-scarring. “Mist” is a head-banging anthemic, heart-pounding invitation to question “what is right?” as you wander through the abyss of the mind. “Jolly New Song” hints at the album title and it’s meaning, through shimmering guitar riffs and pace changes that feel purposeful and hypnotizing. “Leave It All” appeals to the non-conformists of the world, and also those who aren’t tethered to materialism and empty values. “Love Supreme” is hauntingly beautiful with chanting layered over harmonic coos. “Never Forget” demands attention and pokes at what motivates us — is it humiliation or avoiding it? How fragile is the ego? What makes us tick? “Nonse of Us” answers those questions in a way, through a forward-pushing heavy drone that reminds us, without work, nothing changes.
Jolly New Songs comes heavily anticipated after their 2015 full-length, Headache, and fans will be thrilled that this new album picks up where the last one left off. The record will be released via Ici d’ailleurs (Yann Tiersen, Matt Elliott/The Third Eye Foundation, Stefan Wesołowski), and Blue Tapes and X-Ray Records (Jute Gyte, Tashi Dorji, Mats Gustafsson, Katie Gately) with American distribution via Forced Exposure. Jolly New Songs was recorded at Dickie Dreams studio in Gdansk, Poland, and produced by Michał Kupicz (recording, mixing and mastering).