Leski

Leski

Published: July 18, 2016

Leski (the name means “widow” but is also a play on the lead singer’s name) is a Polish alternative rock band. Its lead singer is Paweł Leszoski, who takes Leski as his stage name and whose personal tag line, at least according to his somewhat defunct Twitter, is “Music is no more than a relatively healthy form of narcotic.” The other members of the band are Robert Rasz (percussion), Miłosz Wośko (piano, keyboards), Wojciech Gumiński (bass), and Piotr Ruszkowski (mandolin, banjo). Rasz has performed on the drums in a number of feature films and documentaries, while Wośko is an established pianist who has studied and performed jazz and also works as a musical arranger for orchestras. He and Rasz both performed on Polish singer Mela Koteluk’s second studio album, Migrations (Migracje). Gumiński is a classically trained bassist who has performed with orchestras all over Europe and is also a member of the folk band Alter Ethno. Ruszkowski has also participated in the band Mechanics of Shanty (Mechanicy Shanty).

Leski is an alternative rock group; it describes itself as dream folk or dream pop, and compares itself to Bon Iver and the Icelandic singer Ásgeir. They released their first EP, Leaven (Zaczyn), in 2014, which was popular among fans of Polskie Radio and gained a small following on YouTube. Several music magazines and websites called Leaven one of the best EPs of the year. After the release of the album, the band caught the attention of popular, well-established Polish singer Edyta Bartosiewicz, who is known for her dreamy vocals and unusual lyrics and is thus a good match for Leski. She invited them to come along on her tour for her double album, Love and More. After that, Leski collaborated with Seattle-based American band Lemolo, also a dream pop group, headed by Meagan Grandall.

Leski’s first full-length album, Weave (Splot), was released in 2015. The group won the Music Awards Program Mateusz award from Polskie Radio Program III, for the best debut.

Find Paweł Leszoski on Amazon

 

“It Was” (“Było”), from Leski’s 2014 EP:

Lyrics for “Było”:

Spójrz na kolor
Naszych oczu
Kipią lawą
Huraganem gradem
Suchą falą
Zwidem błyskiem
Luminacją
Na ulicach śladem

A może głosem
Serc spragnionych
Światła i uśmiechu

Słyszysz echo
Naszych wzlotów
Milczą pustką
Bezradnością chłodem
Mrokiem w słońcu
Wiatrem w polu
Oceanem niespokojnym
Głodem

A może krzykiem
Serc rozdartych
Ostrzem zobojętnień

“Autophobia” (“Autofobia”), from the 2015 album:

Lyrics for “Autofobia”:

To jest strach
Przed światłem
Cykor, lęk, paraliż
Razi mnie
Rozcina
Może kiedyś
Scali

Sobą jest gorzej
Bardziej gorzko
Nawet na płaskim
Można się potknąć
Sobą jest gorzej
Bardziej gorzko jest
Nawet na płaskim
Można się potknąć się

To jest strach
Przed sobą
Kręta autofobia
Ślepy bieg
Przez obcość
Podrzucane słowa
Słowa

Sobą jest gorzej
Bardziej gorzko
Nawet na płaskim
Można się potknąć
Sobą jest gorzej
Bardziej gorzko jest
Nawet na płaskim
Można się potknąć się

Można się potknąć

To jest strach

 

Find Paweł Leszoski on Amazon

About the author

Julie Hersh

Julie Hersh

Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.

Program attended: Art and Museums in Russia

View all posts by: Julie Hersh