Tarantino – Julia Marcell

This is amazing. Julia Marcell is a Polish singer-songwriter who has been releasing music since 2007. The song Tarantino is taken from her (awesome) 2016 album, Proxy. Tarantino is about the violence inherent in the system of strict codes of feminine beauty and behaviour. Make sure you watch the video with the translated subtitles on – this song contains some amazing, powerful lines (‘violence smiles in a bikini’ and ‘Don’t read the bible, that’s some real Tarantino’) as well as a very neat multiple choice ending that makes the viewer themselves partially culpable for the continuation of the endless violence.

This song is clever and beautifully constructed and Julia sounds like such an interesting performer. I am looking forwards to exploring the rest of her extraordinary work.

Julia Marcell has a website




Prędko, Prędzej – HEY

Well, this is a weird one. This fab slab of alt-pop-rock from Polish superstars HEY  has been on my Listen Outside playlist for a while, but it wasn’t until today I realised that it gives a lyrical shout out to Derby, the 2nd city of the East Midlands (ooh, burn). This is the first single off their 2016 album “BŁYSK” and I cannot for the life of me work out what the bit about Derby means. Still, cool song.

HEY are on facebook



Game on: Poland vs Portugal

We’re getting close to the end. And also the football is almost over.

In the first quarter final, Poland are playing Portugal. For Poland, we have a very excellent song by a man about who I know almost nothing except that maybe he was on X Factor? He’s called Ralph Kaminski and the song is called Podobno. It’s really very beautiful and I think we should keep our eyes on young Ralph.

For Portugal, it’s time for a duet by Mariza and Sergio Dalma and a bit of delicious fado. It’s in Spanish, which isn’t totally fado as far as I know, but have a look at the chorus lyrics, which are as fado as you like:

soul, it hurts to be the soul
I look like a crazy every night in my window
I can not sleep without the beat of your voice
I look in your eyes and I see nothing, I see nothing

Which country has the more beautiful song? Poland or Portugal?

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Podobno – Ralph Kaminski [Stirring and stunning atmospheric pop]

Alma – Mariza com Sergio Dalma [Big stirring fado duet about lost love]



Game on: Ukraine vs Poland

Four posts in a day! It’s getting serious now. For Ukraine vs Poland we’ve got two songs that are lovely in and of themselves, but which are also supported by visually stunning videoclips.

For Ukraine, we have Таша Круз’s ode to her city Kyiv, which lopes along tree-lined boulevards and smiles subtly in parks and generally makes the place look dead nice.

For Poland we’ve got Natalia Nykiel’s edgier, more disconcerting effort which sounds and looks like a story about the conveniences of modern life leading to isolation and The End. I will talk to you about this on twitter.

Who had the better song? Ukraine or Poland?

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How Can You Not Love (My Kyiv)? – Таша Круз [Delightful jazz ballad with disconcerting video]

Badz Duzy – Natalia Nykiel [Gentle but wonky ballad with a superbly arty video]



Game on: Germany vs Poland

This was the fixture that prompted all this nonsense – originally you were going to get Miss Kiss Kiss Bang vs My Słowianie because these are German and Polish songs that attempted to smuggle boobs into Eurovision (with varying levels of success), but then I remembered that MKKB is an awful racket, and that these two great nations could do a lot better.

So, for Germany we have the ridiculously talented Naima Husseini from Hamburg, who makes really gorgeous music – if you liked Sterne, try some of her ‘At home’ videos  where she performs huge multilayered compositions with her voice and a loop pedal.

For Poland we have Maja Kleszcz and incarNations. Maja was in the Warsaw Village Band, who are well worth taking a look at, but now she’s with the incarNations and making music that is in touch with the Polish folk tradition, but wouldn’t be out of place in the charts.

Which song was better? Naima Husseini or Maja Klezcz & the Incarnations?

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Sterne – Naima Husseini [Twinkly and beautiful pop with a warm heart]

Zanim Wstanie Miasto – Maja Kleszcz and IncarNations [Propulsive, lively folk pop with sensitive production and Maja’s lovely singing]


Game on: Poland vs Northern Ireland

Let’s have some fun today – we’ve got Poland vs Northern Ireland facing off with what can only be described as football novelty songs.

Poland are represented by Poparzeni Kawą Trzy, a veteran ska band. This record, PiłkarSKA (‘Football’ with a clever ska pun) won the competition to be the Polish team’s official Euro 2012 song.

Northern Ireland are represented by punk band 3D Shark and this is the *other* unofficial Northern Ireland Euro 2016 song, featuring actual vocals from actual NI commentating legend Jackie Fullerton.

Game on.

Whose novelty football anthem is better - Poland or Northern Ireland?

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PiłkarSKA – Poparzeni Kawą Trzy [Energetic football themed ska]


Jackie Fullerton Says (I’m In Heaven When You Score) – 3D Shark [Novelty football punk]