The UK might have its unfair share of music events, but European festivals offer much more than just a chance to drink cheap beer, avoid the relentless rain and have a holiday adventure. Familiar names are all well and good, but it’s a chance to experience something you’re unlikely to hear on these shores that makes us look further afield.
OFF Festival, taking place in a southern Polish town of Katowice, is justly one of Europe’s most diverse and daring events, a serious trendsetter of the festival scene. Patti Smith and Ride maybe this year’s obvious big-name attractions, but we’ve decided to focus our attentions on the local talent. The result of this exercise is a playlist showcasing Polish artists playing OFF 2015.
To make it even more exciting, we’re giving you a chance to win a pair of tickets. To enter all you have to do is follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. Then, retweet the competition tweets or share our Facebook competition posts. If you have already followed or liked, simply retweet or share and you will be in with a chance of winning.
Coals – ‘Weightless’
Sounding simultaneously light and dark might sound completely impossible, but Coals manage it with a heap of airy and spaced-out sensations, and a touch of art-film soundtrack. The only way to move to this is to sway or spin slowly in circles and spirals. Nothing else would do.
Decapitated – ‘Carnival Is Forever’
Death metal on the beach? Decapitated’s video for ‘Carnival Is Forever’ seems to think that’s a grand idea. Death metal bassist up a tree? Check. White man dreads? Hmm… Forgivable when your music is this damn hefty. Seriously though, this is a legendary Polish tech-metal band that deserve a bit of respect – albeit in the form of savage headbanging and thrown horns.
Kristen – ‘Upward beyond the onstreaming, it mooned’
Some seriously dark-hued ambient sounds from this obscurest yet beautiful 4-piece. ‘Upward’ builds ever so slowly with a series of overlayed sonic textures that slowly amass, vibrate and cross one another – always threatening to explode but more inclined to fade. This is remarkably powerful late-night witchery that should have you haunted for weeks to come.
Rycerzyki – ‘Hounds’
Electro-pop brilliance from Krakow’s Rycerzyki, channeling the likes of Tove Lo and CSS but with added cheer and a clear sense of fun; there’s even a brass section! Just imagine dancing your little heart out to this. From the spacey intro, it’s difficult to see exactly where ‘Hounds’ is headed, but be prepared to be very pleasantly surprised.
Sonia Pisze Piosenki – ‘Friends to Lovers’
A bold solo acoustic song from the singer-songwriter features clear-as-a-ringing-bell vocals, summer strumguitar chords and a sugar-sweet melody that recalls the finest of ’90s American indie pop. The eternal theme of whether to take that titular step is as heartwarming as the song is endearing.
The Stubs – ‘Kill Yourself’
Pounding garage rock that contains the lines “Got no money, got no pride/Got no talent but we’re trying hard/Let it go, kill yourself” is a winner, right? The Stubs, a Warsaw band seemingly obsessed with nihilism and masked Mexican wrestlers, seem to have the kind of piledriving blues punk chops and grinning self-awareness that make a punk rock life worth living.
Sutari – ‘Kuchenny’
The confluence of Polish and Lithuanian folk songs, three female voices, and a collection of household objects that include a grater, kitchen blender and water jug is the sound of Sutari. It is harmonious, hypnotic and strangely beautiful.
Tania O – ‘I Love Your Cat’
Organ and awkward riff-based indie-pop from these Warsaw-based janglers offers a potential partner a single element of redemption: “I love your cat, and that is why I want to be with you”. Sane, vibrant, jerk-pop that could soundtrack your summer with ease.
Wilga – ‘Béla Lugosi’
Béla Lugosi is not dead. He lives on in last year’s eponymous debut album from Wilga. It is a song that sees the king of horror cast in the role of a quartet of musicians from Gdańsk who cause the most portentous sea of guitar-driven post-rock to wash up on some half-forgotten progressive shore.
Competition closes at midday Monday 22nd June 2015. The winner will be picked at random and notified via Facebook or Twitter within 24 hours of the competition closure date.
Competition Terms and Conditions can be found HERE.
OFF Festival ticket and full line-up information can be found HERE.
Read our European Festival Guide HERE.