There are not many Polish bands which, on the one hand, play such catchy, energetic pop songs, and, on the other, present the highest level of composition and performance.
New People, curiously, has seven members. Before, each of its members has performed in various notable bands. If one was to look for something that connects all of them, it would be that each musician puts great attention not only to the quality of their music but also to its sound and production.
The band was formed in 2015. Its lead singers are Natalia Pikuła (born 1990), known from the girl-band Drekoty, and Alicja Boratyn (born 1992) who, for a short time, performed in the band Wicked Giants and also, a decade earlier, as a teenager – in Blog 27. Gentlemen are present in the band as well – the ones which sing the most are guitarist Jakub Sikor (born 1992) who forms the Ala/ZaStary duo with Boratyn and bass player Jakub Czubak (born 1983) known from the indie-rock group The Car Is On Fire and from Queer Resource Center. New People’s keyboardist, Piotr Piechota (1986), also comes from the same band. Other members are Hubert Woźniakowski (born 1991) on bass, best known from the rock group Eric Shoves Them In His Pockets, and drummer Aleksander Orłowski (born 1991), who is also a member of the Magnificent Muttley power trio.
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With such a wide group of members – who, additionally, swap instruments during gigs – each one’s performance demands attention. Their songs, sung exclusively in English and usually in multi-part harmony, are diligently thought out, arranged and recorded. There is no space for solo showing-off. Still, paradoxically, both the recordings and the concerts brim with positive energy and the joy of performing together. Each member knows their place and each one is indispensable.
It is a type of music in which the multidimensionality and technical skill of the musicians do not obstruct melody. In New People’s songs, one can quickly notice inspiration from American 1970s soft rock associated with local radio stations, and live-instrument disco which brings to mind David Bowie, Chic or – three decades later – Daft Punk. Their vocal harmonies are not unlike the earlier classics of The Beach Boys or The Beatles, while the rousing rhythms are reminiscent of 1960s black soul from the Motown label.
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It might sound naïve, but New People’s songs are positive and sound like calls to action. This and the technical virtuosity of the members might bring the Warsaw-based supergroup Mitch & Mitch to mind. However, New People are younger and their lyrics contain the anxieties of adolescence and a certain camaraderie – a hope that bad things will pass and good will stay. It’s been a long time since Poland had got such a talented band which is also completely devoid of irony.
In April 2016, the musicians released their online single titled Better Ways, followed in September by Banana Split, and in March 2017 by Lucky One. All of them ended up on New People’s self-titled debut album released in the winter of 2018. The music on the album was composed by all of the members, most of the lyrics were written by Jakub Czubak (some of them together with Sikora, one with Pikuła and another one written by the duo Boratyn-Sikora). Aleksander Orłowski produced the album.
New People have performed at festivals such as Open’er in Gdynia, Off in Katowice and Green in Olsztyn.
Originally written in Polish by Jacek Świąder, July 2018, translated by Patryk Grabowski
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