I’ve been corresponding with Grzegorz Kwiatkowski, singer and guitarist of Polish post-punk-art-psych outfit Trupa Trupa for a few years now. I was feeling pretty down last week (and maybe it seeped into my column (okay, it did)), and I told Grzegorz a bit about some of the stuff that was bothering me. He had the most helpful and reassuring reply.
As writers, he wrote, our mission is to create great spiritual stuff, material that is useful to others in these weird and dark times. As writers, then, our duty is to read, write, think, and meditate. “We are just doing our spiritual homework,” as Grzegorz put it.
Anyway, Trupa Trupa’s I’ll Find EP dropped March 6—that is, almost immediately before the outbreak disrupted all our everythings. Gdańsk, where the band lives is locked down completely (where isn’t?), so band practice is totally off the table. Grzegorz doesn’t stress it, though. For one thing, people are suffering and dying and losing their livelihoods, he says. What’s a quirky art-psych EP next to that?
“On the other hand, and this is my real point of view,” Grzegorz continues, “now we need art more than ever, and now we need solidarity and great spiritual vibes more than ever.”
Trupa Trupa’s songs don’t move in straight lines—that’s a given—but I’ll Find is especially abstract and hypnotic. “End of the Line” drifts forward upon an intentionally uneven bed of minimalist percussion and hyperactive basswork. Guitars almost crunch; effects noise almost intrudes, and all while Grzegorz intones “all the way to the end of the line.” I’ll Find doesn’t have lyrics so much as it has mantras, with tunes built around one or two repeating phrases. The infectious title track, for instance, buries a call-and-response of “I’ll find” and “no you won’t” beneath swirling, jazz-inflected psych-rock.
Remember Grzegorz’ “spiritual homework” concept? So he’s home with his family in Gdańsk, appreciating the sudden onset of peace and calm without losing sight of the storm of suffering worldwide. The EP is out, but Trupa Trupa has its next fifteen songs ready, too. There’s a late June US tour that might happen or might be moved back a few months. Some festival appearances have already been postponed. That said, Grzegorz feels like the timing on I’ll Find, while unplanned, is appropriate.
“Most of Trupa Trupa’s art is about the dark human condition,” Grzegorz says. “It’s kind of a dark poetry, but in some very strange way also full of optimism and will to joyful power. We’ve got really this strange mix of optimism and pessimism inside.”