Brodka - Clashes - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Brodka - Clashes

by Steve Ricciutti Rating:8 Release Date:2016-05-17

Polish singer Brodka (Monika Brodka) first hit it big by winning Polish Pop Idol twelve years ago at the tender age of 17. This was followed up with two gold albums and, four years later, a double platinum third release. Her fourth release coming out this month is likely to hit it big again despite the six-year break. She’s slowly moved away from pop and broadened the scope of her musical dalliances, a sure sign of a gifted and restless artist. With this much success, it’s a wonder that more people don’t know her name already.

“Clashes” is an apt album title, mostly electronic, hypnotic, and evocative, but also possessing fringes of pop and folk. There are also some more noisy numbers to keep you guessing. Brodka paints images with her layered music and that’s the frame of mind to embrace when giving this disc a spin.

“Mirror Mirror,” a fitting opener, has creepy music box keyboards and angelic harmonies, sounding like the opening credits to a surreal movie. First single “Horses” (not the Patti Smith song) features a surf-like riff that gives Brodka a chance to showcase her vocal range. “Santa Muerte” has a grander appeal, with a cantering rhythm, and “My Name is Youth” is a jolting piece of industrial grating with a chorus of “People always say I have a pretty name. What’s your name? My name is Youth!” chanted over and over for two minutes of noisy freak-out. It briefly wakes you out of the opiated trance before “Kyrie” takes you back.  

“dreamstreamextreme” is a Siouxsie-esque lullaby with Brodka’s voice soaring above the sparse arrangement; the perfect soundtrack to one’s nocturnal voyages. “Haiti” wraps exotic percussion around repetitive choruses of “Just another lonely girl,” and “Train his ears so he can’t hear it.” It’s a seductive and hypnotic jewel. In the spooky “Funeral,” Brodka describes a desperate situation; “I think I’m falling and you’re in too deep. God will reward you for this mess we’re in.”

One must be in the mood to get the most out of this dreamy vision and to fully appreciate the depth of the intricate, interwoven musical strands that Brodka has so patiently and deliberated used in her death-themed tapestry. It’s a gorgeous and haunting kaleidoscope. 

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