OBRASQi is a Polish trio from Kartuzy, Poland. This trio surprised me last year (2021) with their beautiful debut album "Dopowiedzenia". Their music is on the mellow side of the progressive and/or art rock spectrum. The band consists of singer Monika Dejk-Ćwikła on vocals and keys, Artur Wolski on guitar, keys and programming, and Jarosław Bielawski on drums and percussion. The angelic voice of vocalist Monika Dejk-Ćwikła in particular stands out and attracts attention. Your reviewer had to order their debut album especially in Poland but this will soon change because the band is making good progress with a live performance for Polish Radio (which you can find on YouTube), a second CD "Szepty Ciszy" (Whispers of Silence) with a more extensive music palette and an invitation from the Polish band Riverside to provide the last part of their "20 Riverside" anniversary tour as a support act.
Monika Dejk-Ćwikła – vocals, backing vocals, keyboards; Artur Wolski – gitaren, keyboards, programming; Jarosław Bielawski – drums and percussion
Especially when you listen to their debut album "Dopowiedzenia" you could describe OBRASQi's music as atmospheric art rock or dreamy pop. But the band now develops a much broader sound palette on "Szepty Ciszy", which sometimes goes more in the direction of progressive rock. So I think the band definitely deserves a spot on progVisions.
The album opens with the song "Świt co znajdzie głos" (7:30). The beautiful and angelic voice of singer Monika Dejk-Ćwikła often gives the music a dreamy and atmospheric character. But on this album the guitar parts and programming of guitarist Artur Wolski are much broader and powerful than on their debut album.
Although I am glad that the band sings in its native language, so that the Polish atmosphere is preserved, it would be nice if there would be an English translation in the booklet. The digipack of this album was made for the Polish market, but I understand that the band would like to cross the borders with their interesting music.
The title track of the album "Szepty Ciszy" (5:14) has a calm atmosphere and a slow tempo. The vocals are often presented in a whispering tone. Musically, the whole is nicely framed with interesting guitar soundscapes and modern-sounding synth parts. "Siła zakazanych westchnień" (3:03) is more uptempo than the title track and has nice vocal choruses. This is followed by the atmospheric interlude "Paradosq" (0:49). The opening still has a beautiful melody but it quickly takes on an ominous character before ending abruptly. The contrast with the next beautifully sung song "Nie budź" (3:12) is very big. You can find beautiful vocal melodies on this album.
"Obiecaj" (8:12) is one of the highlights of this beautiful and relaxed album. The tempo is quite slow in the beginning but the beautiful vocal melody lines are sung with a lot of passion. Guitarist Artur Wolski is playing some very nice melodies in this song. Slowly the music becomes more powerful and works towards a kind of climax.
The last three compositions "Mroczne pragnienia (#1)" (4:43), "Iskra we mnie (#2)" (2:46) and "Nieprzetłumaczalne słowa (#3)" (2:42) run seamlessly together across and form a small suite. "Mroczne pragnienia (#1)" has a delicate opening with passionate vocals. Halfway through the guitars get a bit more powerful but nowhere is it over the top. The band tries to retain the atmospheres built up around the vocals. The latter applies to the entire album. "Iskra we mnie (#2)" has a beautiful melodic guitar part. This is where the band's progressive rock character suddenly comes to the fore. "Nieprzetłumaczalne słowa (#3)" concludes the triptych. After the sound samples of a stressed heartbeat and a suddenly persistent beep from heart monitoring equipment in a hospital, I understand that the band is now talking about "a journey beyond the boundaries of life, the world, dreams and yourself".
The music of OBRASQi moves with "Szepty Ciszy" mainly in the atmospheric art rock spectrum but here and there the progressive rock character of the band comes to the fore. You can hear that clearly in the middle section of the concluding suite. "Iskra we mnie (#2)" is therefore developing into one of my personal favorite tracks. But especially singer Monika Dejk-Ćwikła attracts the attention of the listener with her angelic voice and beautiful vocal contributions.
I am very curious how this band will develop. It is already a gem for the music lover who looks beyond the beaten track!