Tiny, with black hair, seems shy and quiet. But that’s just an illusion. All it takes for her is to speak up and all of a sudden you will forget you ever thought she’s a good girl. She was called ‘the biggest Polish scandalist’, ‘obscenic and vulgar’ and ‘despising anything traditional’.
All of this dirt thrown on freckled arms of Maria Peszek – because obviously, this description is about her. All of this dirt thrown on freckled arms of Maria Peszek – because obviously, this description is about her.
Maria The Rebel
It is really hard to imagine a Polish music stage without her presence. Even though she is still not the most recognizable music artist (that’s a pity). She doesn’t seem to mind this though, not at all. Maria comes from a family with lots of artistic roots (her father is Jan Peszek, one of the best Polish actors) and literally grew up on a stage. At the age of 10, she starred in a play Wesele in Juliusz Slowacki Theatre. After studies, she made herself at home in the artistic environment of film, theater and music.
Maria recorded only (!) 4 albums: Miasto mania in 2005, Maria Awaria in 2008, Jezus Maria Peszek in 2012 and Karabin in 2016. Her lyrics became viral due to their ‘scandalic’ meaning. I’m just wondering why. Seems like the word ‘sex’ is still a big taboo in Poland. As if you can’t use one or two swear words in your songs without exposing yourself to public ostracism from the side of the conservative environment. Apparently, Maria wanted to see what will happen if she tries to be a tiny bit more ‘extravagant’ than Polish media and society are used to.
Maria The Poet
Maria Peszek is a type of artist you won’t pass without noticing; no matter if you like her music or not. There is nobody just like her! On the other hand, the sound layer of her songs is sometimes hard to digest because of the monothematic, electronic-jazz-alternative tune. A duet with Wojciech Waglewski and his son, Fisz, brings an interesting variety to Maria’s artwork. The songs they created are full of light and delicate yet hard to forget sounds. Not to mention the lyrics made by Maria!
The words which fly away from her pen are the best example of the brilliance of her brain. She truly is a lyrics genius. And I am not talking about ‘scandalic’ Pieprzę cię miasto [Fuck you, city] or a bit boring Kobiety pistolety [Pistols Women], but the subtle and smart, filled with witty and creative rhymes, Hujawiak. The song’s performed in a very girly and charming way, with a very interesting line of trumpet and bass in the background.
With no doubt, Maria has an impudent, rebellious spirit. Do not get misguided by her very adult-like, sometimes unnecessarily provoking lyrics; for me deep down she is simply a young talented woman, always looking for a genuine Beauty in life, unable to breathe without Art in the air.
Julia The Entrepreneur
If you think it’s impossible to gather 50 000 dollars to fund your first solo album… you definitely don’t know Julia Marcell. This young girl, born in Olsztyn in Poland, managed to get this much money thanks to SellaBand – an online platform promoting the unknown musicians. Well, definitely she does seem like an interesting person!
Her real last name is Górniewicz; Marcell is just a stage name. Julia does not make music in her country of origin but in Berlin. That’s where she recorded her first music album, It might like you. What makes her music and herself as an artist so unique is, above all, her ability to multitask many desired skills at one quest. Julia is not only a composer and vocalist but also plays piano and violin. Did I mention she also writes lyrics to all her songs? Yes, she does that too.
Julia The Innovator
The second thing you should know about Julia is her originality. The songs she creates breathe with a punk energy, which gives this extra, crisp flavor to each one of the tracks. Julia proves that you don’t have to yank the guitar strings as hard as you can to actually get the rock and roll sounding music. Not only that but also Julia’s composing strategy makes her music sound like the most beautifully organized chaos. She’s experimenting with jazz and antifolk, putting it all in the wave of alternative music, labeling everything with a manifesto: ‘It’s me, Julia’.
It’s inevitable not to notice similarities with Regina Spektor, Tori Amos, Gaba Kulka (a brilliant Polish musician) or even Norah Jones (especially in the piano-violin Accordian Player). Although her first single – Night of the living dead – announces a great quality of the whole album, for me the definite winner in Julia’s artwork is Dancer. Maybe due to a subtle yet lively track of piano from the very start, followed by the consistent and beautiful vocal? Or maybe due to the breathtaking lyrics? (But then they threw me on the street, And shut the door, No man craved me anymore, ‘Cause I only danced for one) Julia’s trademark is an effortless grace and integrity and that she never goes on a trip to the City of Schemas.
Girls who refuse to play the ordinary tone
The artworks of both Maria Peszek and Julia Marcell are unique and strive to work out their own, original style. They are both charismatic which already makes them stand out from many other musicians trying to make it on the art stage. The strong and sometimes too provocative lyrics of Maria Peszek seem to scream on delicate verses in Julia Marcell’s songs. On the other hand, it’s hard to find one true gem in Julia’s artwork, while Maria knows exactly how to provide her listeners with a ‘wow moment’ from time to time.
Despite everything that makes them different and everything that makes them similar, the presence of both those artists makes a nice change on the stage of many monothematic, pop musicians. A tiny girl with black hair who puts on a hair band with devil’s horns and turns into a pistol-woman is in one team with a hell of a smart lady with an angel voice. They wink to us as if they wanted to say ‘good girls sing what others do but bad girls sing in their own tune’.