Ptaki’s tunes soar wide-winged like their translation (bird) infers. With a breakout single under their belts in the Very Polish Cut-Outs ‘Krystina’ and a swirling vapor of mystique surrounding them, the duo presents their first full 12” of original material which is both contemplative and transfixing. The Kalina EP on Young Adults Recordings clocks in around 25 minutes, but the ground it covers cannot be clearly conveyed through conventional cartography - a birdseye view of jagged cliffs, coastal haze, rolling bagpipe hillsides, and smoke signals.
Opener ‘Warsaw’ borders on the sublime with a patience and gentle simplicity that can’t be taught or bought. Placidly ethereal, this is cinematic balearica in the tradition of Quiet Village that won’t soon be forgotten. Chimes, toms, horns and strums swell and crash like gentle titans.
‘Foxy’ builds slow on Celtic tropes and emerges from the bell tower with a jump in its step. Vocal swoons keep the pace atop effective stings and a bouncy baseline. ‘Kalina’ builds on an effortless guitar and displays the duo’s songwriting chops with a stable balance of emotion and punch. The closer ‘Skala’ explores deeper territories with a thumping low end and acid workout, but still manages to drift into dreamlike states with its meandering flute refrains and guided meditation samples.