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BRODKA Announces New Album “BRUT due 28th May on [PIAS] Recordings

March 25, 2021
Press shot, credit Marcin Kempski / I LIKE PHOTO

BRODKA

Announces new album, BRUT, due 28th May on [PIAS] Recordings

Arriving hot on the heels of her Speedy Wunderground 7” ‘Wrong Party’, Polish alt-pop superstar Brodka announces new album BRUTa powerful examination of gender, self-image and society. The album will be released 28th May on [PIAS] Recordings on CD, vinyl and digital, as well as 200 limited edition album + Speedy Wunderground 7″ bundles. Preorder here.

Recorded with Boxed In’s Oli Bayston (Kelly Lee Owens, Loyle Carner), BRUT finds Brodka blurring the boundaries between natural and synthetic sounds, with a dystopian air hanging over much of the record in part due to the shadow of the ongoing struggle in Poland for reproductive rights.

“Most of my life I’ve not matched the role that society wants me to play,” she says of challenging perceptions by creating a figure that incorporates traditional traits of both femininity and masculinity. “I’m seen as having lots of masculine features, but then I have quite a pretty, innocent face. I always had the feeling that my inner self doesn’t really match my outer self.”

In keeping with Brodka’s brutalism-inspired vision, there’s an industrial edge to BRUT, expressed in post-punk riffs, icy synths and the serrated, heavily-processed guitar sounds that slice through glittering electro-pop.

Dramatic from the get-go and absolutely intoxicating. Brodka uses such a colossal soundscape to resonate the vocal harmonies to the max. Brodka‘s unique and sumptuous vocals capture delicate harmonies and a rhythmic lyrical journey amongst this fierce and compelling landscape. Brodka‘s insatiable melodies weave between this industrial and theatrical musical movement. Brodka relishes within their innovative creations, a composer, writer and artist in their field. Get behind this musician now!

Child prodigy, TV talent show winner, multi-platinum artist, pop provocateur, conceptual artist: at the age of 33, Brodka has already lived several different lives. And yet, as the Żywiec-born, Warsaw-based singer-songwriter gears up to share her stunning fifth studio album, this latest chapter promises to be her most compelling yet.

BRUT finds Brodka pushing her already eclectic artistic vision somewhere entirely unique. Where her third album, 2010’s Granda, fused alt-rock and electro-pop with nods to the traditional Polish folk music of her upbringing, and 2016’s follow-up Clashes eschewed electronic sounds altogether in favour of orchestral instrumentation, BRUT exalts in blurring the boundaries between natural and synthetic sounds.

She began the process by capturing individual sounds, be that isolated shards of guitar, her folk musician father playing bagpipes and the ocarina, or the whirr of air-conditioning and clang of wood on metal railings outside the studio. Once converted into MIDI format, the samples were ready to be repurposed as part of an entirely new musical vocabulary, and one that had the potential to be applied on a seemingly endless scale.

As Brodka explains, this process informed her choice of title, which also references the brutalist architecture of Warsaw. “BRUT for me means something very dry and raw. And focusing on construction was very important, as well as reinterpreting the past into something new, resulting in an inversion of perspective. If you asked me to draw the album, I would draw an abstract building, placed in-between some more traditional skyscrapers and very, very old buildings.”

A dystopian air hangs over much of the record, but it’s perhaps most powerfully explored on ‘The World Is You’, an apocalyptic love song driven by stuttering synthesizers and crisp, almost militaristic drum rolls. In it she entreats, “Quarantine this heart of mine if I ever come back home / Promise that you’ll give it all from the past of no return.” Having completed the album in the aftermath of the forest fires ravaging Australia, and amidst a global pandemic and the ongoing struggle in Poland for abortion rights, it’s perhaps unsurprising that, creatively, Brodka allowed herself to stray into the darker corners of her psyche.

In keeping with Brodka’s brutalism-inspired vision, there’s an industrial edge to the entire collection, expressed in the minor key, post-punk riffs that run through ‘You Think You Know Me’, the chopped and spliced vocal arpeggios underpinning the main melody on ‘Come To Me’, and the icy synths that needle away throughout ‘Chasing Ghosts’, an eerily atmospheric collaboration with James Chapman of Maps.

She’s similarly assertive and seductive on ‘Game Change’, a slice of glittering electro-pop that was written with Pregoblin’s Jessica Winter and that plays with societal preconceptions about gender. This concept is further explored in its striking video, which finds Brodka playing a woman who assumes the role of her husband after his death, and was informed by the fascinating phenomenon of Balkan Sworn Virgins. 

The album artwork features a photo of a young Brodka with a snake, imagery which ties into the album’s themes. “On the cover you can see me at the age of 5, when the fact of being a woman didn’t matter yet,” she explains. “It was a time of carefree innocence, unaware of the future expectations that society would impose on me. The snake that entwines me symbolises temptations, sin, and everything that may happen to this girl in the future. And it was this clash that I found particularly interesting”.

With BRUT, Brodka has not only succeeded in reclaiming her authentic identity in the face of the pressures of patriarchal society, she’s created the most compelling music of her career. And in doing so, she’s cemented her status as the European breakout artist to watch.

BRUT will be released on CD/Digital 28th May, and vinyl will follow on 13th August.

Preorder BRUT:
https://brodka.ffm.to/brut


Tracklisting

1. Come To Me
2. Game Change
3. Hey Man
4. Imagination
5. Falling Into You
6. You Think You Know Me
7. Fruits
8. In My Eyes
9. The World Is You
10. Chasing Ghosts
11. Sadness


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