Welcome to the rhythmic world of Pol, where emotion meets music in a symphony of passion. The Amsterdam-based new wave duo consists of brothers Ruben and Matthijs Pol who together, with a unique blend of poetic lyrics and mesmerizing melodies, create music that transcends boundaries and resonates with audiences worldwide. Their upcoming highly anticipated self-titled debut EP showcases their seamless capability of blending powerful lyricism and dynamic soundscapes, all tied together with nods to post-punk and glam rock. In particular, the EP’s lead single ‘L’Amour Fait Mal’ brings together atmospheric drums that are equal parts peppy and poignant — what the pair describe as the “essence of a new-wave love song.”
1883 Magazine chats with the pair of brothers to discuss the EP, what’s next, and more.
Congratulations on the release of your self-titled debut EP, ‘Pol.’ Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the name ‘Pol’ and how it reflects the music within the EP?
Thank you. Pol is actually our surname (Ruben Pol & Matthijs Pol), hence it couldn’t be more ‘us’. Besides this, as a band name, we think it seamlessly goes with the New Wave genre. We believe this EP serves as the introduction of our band to the world, hence a self-titled EP title seemed appropriate.
The EP features a diverse range of sounds and influences. Could you share some of the key musical and non-musical inspirations that shaped this project?
We are influenced by fashion, De Stijl, Bauhaus, glam rock, post-punk.
What was the creative process like when working on ‘Pol’? Did you encounter any unexpected challenges or breakthrough moments during its production?
The production process of this EP as a whole can really be seen as a learning curve. We do (almost) every step of the process ourselves to maintain complete control over our sound. Yet, committing to this made us encounter many problems and challenges, which we had to find solutions for ourselves too. Even though this wasn’t always easy, it did help us to grow greatly with regards to our recording, production and mixing skills.
One of the standout tracks on the EP is L’Amour Fait Mal.” Could you delve into the story behind this song, its lyrical themes, and the creative choices that went into its composition?
It’s a (french) love song about a love that hurts. The lyrics of the song came up very naturally, and we discovered a contrast between the vagueness of the verses compared to the direct/clear feeling of the chorus. The chorus tells us that love simply hurts, but the verses take on the form of a poem.
Your music has been described of a mixture of New Wave, post-punk and glam rock. How do you strike a balance between these genres, and what do you hope listeners take away from this unique blend?
These genres are what we both listen to on a daily basis. By not taking in all characteristics of one of the three genres we try to find that sweet spot and form this into the sound that represents us, Pol. With Pol we hope to offer a new fresh sound, which hovers in between the genres we are all such a big fan of.
Collaborations often bring exciting dynamics to music. Are there any artists or producers you had the pleasure of working with on this EP, and how did these collaborations influence your sound?
Yes, we have worked with Dave Bascombe, he has been the mixing engineer for our first two singles. Hearing his approach on the pre-mix versions gave us great insights and knowledge on how to bring a song to life.
The EP seems to explore a range of emotions. Can you share the overarching narrative or message you aimed to convey through this collection of songs?
The overarching theme of this EP is that this is an introduction to who we are, what we do and what is to come.
Visual aesthetics often play a significant role in the presentation of music. How did you approach the artwork and overall visual concept for ‘Pol,’ and how does it tie into the music?
The artwork draws inspiration from paintings, exhibition posters, live show posters. The overall visual concept is taking hints from the glam rock, post-punk and new romantic movements. Next to this our experiences in the high fashion industry contribute to what we find aesthetically appealing, which at the end forms everything into a visual language that illustrates Pol.
As a Dutch New Wave duo, you’re part of a dynamic music scene. How do you see your music fitting into the broader landscape of Dutch music, and what makes ‘Pol’ stand out?
We don’t see much connection to the modern-day Dutch music scene. Pol stands out by its unique approach to making and playing music. There is room for noises, buzzes, scratches and any small imperfections which all add to a much more human and convincing final product. The approach is creating music that scratches spots that are rarely touched nowadays.
The debut EP is a significant milestone in your musical journey. What’s next for ‘Pol’? Can we expect more releases or perhaps a live tour to support this exciting project?
We are working hard on our next body of work from our new homes in Paris. A tour is definitely something that is on our minds, and when it’s time we will share it through our website and social media platforms. For now we are doing a Pol headline show in Amsterdam on January 6th, tickets can be found through www.Pol.fm.