Exclusive Album Stream & Interview: Spiral – Bullets

Spiral are a five piece band hailing from Rzeszów, Poland. They are releasing their third album “Bullets” on October 28th. And oh boy, what a ride that is! Here at Arctic Drones, we are incredibly happy to offer you a chance to listen to the entire album now in our exclusive stream!

They say the third album is a peculiar test to check if the band is still capable of creating great tracks. Listening to Bullets can only tell you that Spiral are a mature band. They had their trip-hop phase on their debut Urban Fable and their experimental blend-it-all-together phase on Cloud Kingdoms. Now, with their third record they emerge as an outfit with a fully defined sound, confident, yet still searching for the new.

Purchase/pre-order: http://spiral.pl/shop/

Bullets brings about a development of the post-rock and dream-pop elements of their previous works. It is much more melodic, with much bolder use of Ula Wójcik’s beautiful voice. Instrumental-wise, the record presents Spiral at their most sublime and delicate. Tracks are constructed around pretty, mostly guitar-based plunks – they make songs seem spacious and lightweight, almost careless. Songs on Bullets are soft, but they manage to express huge things. Even when the band gets loud and harsh, like on the song “Crumbs”, they still are able to feel like a warm blanket on a cold day and a hug on a gloomy Monday morning.

Bullets is a happy album, made for when you’d like to feel what it feels like to be up in the sky among clouds on a sunny day. It makes you appreciate all the small things you are likely to miss during your daily routine. The little kitten you pass by on your way to work, or the lady selling flowers who always smiles at you.

Spiral are surely their own brand on the Polish music scene – incomparable with anyone else, a confident and beautiful blend of post-rock sensitivity with pop melodies. They continue their rise, which begun with phenomenal Cloud Kingdoms. Everything seems to prove that Spiral will continue to bring sweet sounds to our ears in the (I hope near) future.

We hope you will enjoy this album as much as we did! 

We had a chat with the band about their new album, inspirations, and recording process. Check it out below:

SPIRAL INTERVIEWED

First of all, congratulations on your new album, it sounds fantastic! Anything you’d like to share about the creative proces behind Bullets?

Thank you! We are honoured to hear that. We put a lot of emotion and hard work in this album. It is great to hear that it gets appreciated, and that is the best thing that can happen to an artist.

Concerning your question – lots and lots of funny little details made the album sound what it is. In the song “Bullets” for example – we created a bass drum sample out of a recording of closing fridge doors in the studio. Most of the lead electric piano sounds in this song are made and recorded on cheap toy pianos bought for around $4. Our guitarist Grzesiek taught himself to play trumpet specifically for this album – so all of the trumpet parts are made and recorded by him. We also fell in love with hardware synths – and abused them a little bit on this album ;). We used some exotic (at least for us) instruments – like ukulele in the Cops & Robbers Song. All of the grand piano sounds are recorded on real two concert pianos (Yamaha and an old Russian Petrov)

What was your mindset when you entered the studio?

We wanted to create an organic and natural sound with this album. We focused on rehearsing  during pre-production – we clearly divided the pre-production and recording stage.Most of the album is recorded “live”, with the band in the room playing together. The aim was that when the people will listen to Bullets, they (hopefully) will notice the live, organic flavor.

On the song “Her Majesty”, Krzysztof Mroziak was playing the grand piano parts. We recorded them in small concert hall in Rzeszow’s music school. We used a lot of ambient mics on this, so you could hear all of the “outside world” noises in it. We fell in love with that sound…

In what ways was your composing/recording process different from the one you implemented on your second record?

In terms of composing, this time we decided to do a little production experiment. We live in different cities and we only see each other during the weekends, so we decided to improvise and write a song draft each weekend. After a year or so we ended up with many musical ideas – some of them being great, some just pure crap. This experiment made us stay focused through most of songwriting process.The next part of the process was to select the best ones and work on them until they became full songs.

Your new album seems more poppy than Cloud Kingdoms. What influenced your sound on Bullets?

We used what was in our heads. We didn’t aim for a more poppy or more proggish or alternative sound.Even though it might be conceived as a more poppy album then earlier ones – still, one of the radio directors from the very influential Polish alternative radio/TV told us – “This is not radio friendly album”  (laughter).

In your music you mix genres quite boldly. How did you emerge as a band with such cross-over tendencies?

We’re a group of five people with very different inspirations and music tastes and our sound has always been a blend of all of those components. We try to stay open-minded and find some artistic common ground. It’s not always easy and sometimes we tend to fight about some ideas but I think it’s a healthy and natural part of the creative process.

There was a five year break between your debut Urban Fables and Cloud Kingdoms.What caused such a short period of time – two years – between Bullets and your previous album?

The five year break between our first two albums was caused by some personal changes in the band, moving from one city to the other, etc. We are very satisified with Cloud Kingdoms but I think we’re all aware that recording it took too long. For Bullets we have made a conscious decision to release new music faster and stay more focused in the process. The production process idea (mentioned earlier) helped us with that.

What do you think of the independent music scene in Poland at the moment?

There are many really awesome bands in the Polish independent scene. We have some outstanding experimental acts in different genres, from trip-hop to extreme metal. Unfortunately very few of them get the recognition that they deserve. In brief, the Polish independent scene is a great artistic success that is still waiting to be discovered.

And finally – what are your plans for the future?

In the upcoming months we want to focus on touring and promoting the new album. We plan to play 12 shows throughout Poland this fall and then go on some European tours in 2017. That will probably give us enough inspiration to lock ourselves in the studio and start writing some new material sometime later next year 🙂

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