Lukas Pawluk’s album High Seas introduces an eclectic range of collaborations and sees the artist wander creatively through various sub-genres of rock and metal – all the while leading with beautifully poetic, compelling songwriting.
Blame My Self (Feat. Richard Stuart) is superb, a melodic yet hard-hitting rock track that skillfully fuses distorted riffs and power chords with fragments of electronic ambiance and synths that rain down unexpectedly. Mixed in among this are some stunning vocals, captivating and capable whether tentatively weaving their way through verse melodies or taking to the passionate roar of metal. An absolute highlight and the best way to open up the album.
As the project continues, you soon come to see Lukas Pawluk as a songwriter first and foremost – emotional and thoughtful, as well as undeniably having the skill-set required to offer impressive musicianship. Forge Ahead (Feat. Tim Snow & Michał Krzemiński) sees more of a hard-rock vibe emerge with this thick wall of fuzz, less space, yet a gentler and more elongated voice that feels a little Muse-like on occasion. There’s less contrast here, the layers connect to offer something grunge-like and full sounding. Conceptually still this considerate approach rings loud.
Redefine (Feat. Todor Gadjalov & Michał Krzemiński) follows and offers more of that soundscape fullness, along with a great long-form melody and a reflective, personal yet provocative story-line. An air of Papa Roach emerges, something also hinted at in the opening song. Really though, a fusion of influences appear throughout this project, leading to what is essentially a fresh and enjoyably poetic approach to rock writing.
Surreal (Feat. Alex Theesen & Przemek Byzdra) brings through the heavier side of metal, though the lyrics are refreshingly clear; they connect emotionally, and there’s a certain level of space within the surrounding instrumentation that furthers this effect. However intense the sound may be, each song has a specific intention and has been artistically designed to represent that. As suggested, this is about songwriting and expression above all else. The satisfying hit of the music is a mighty by-product of that process. Sensational guitar work cascades around you during the latter half here.
Arrangement-wise, contrast is well utilized – the album’s title track (Feat. Nettle Carrier & Michał Krzemiński) grabs at your affection with its raw, piano-ballad ambiance and quietness after the weight from before. Gorgeous vocals whisper and crack before you, and slowly but surely the track builds up – enveloping the listener and uplifting them with this sense of warmth and possibility.
Like Brothers (Feat. Alessandro Medri & Michał Krzemiński) is another highlight for its fusion of distortion and what is a fantastic meandering melody-line. The progression throughout is immense – many of these songs are epic journeys in themselves, pushing the six-minute mark and taking all the time and space needed to get the artistry across. You can get lost in the playlist as you might have done back when this genre and style of writing was the perfect option for escapism. Rock and its various sub genres are absolutely making a much-welcomed comeback right now.
Lights (Feat. Todor Gadjalov & Michał Krzemiński) is a fairly delicate rock track with a fine use of metaphor at its core. The Beautiful Embrace (Feat. Alex Theesen & Michał Krzemiński) contrasts intensely, with chaotic synths and the return of the heavy metal scream. A great hook, notably memorable. Story-telling never ceases to drive the experience. These songs are fascinating and well worth spending some time with.
Tidal Force (Feat. Michał Krzemiński) is instrumentally unique and wonderfully creative as it fills the room – feeling like an uninhibited yet intentional jam. Together (Feat. Tim Snow & Michał Krzemiński) follows, paired vocals inject further eclecticism into the project. The drum-work is incredible, and the songwriting intrigues in a manner that makes a single listen far from enough.
EDM-style synths meet with heavy distortion again for To Be Apart (Feat. Alex Theesen & Przemek Byzdra), an intimate and revealing song that connects for its honesty and the manic array of colour within. Then things come to a close with the somewhat indie-pop melodies and contrastingly intense heaviness and pace of of The New Light, again featuring Richard Stuart. This is another stand-out for its unusual set-up – the whole thing feels fresh, unpredictable yet effective and consistently interesting. A brilliant track and the perfect way to round up the playlist. This is defiantly a collection worth revisiting again and again. A pleasure to stumble upon.